Not Filing Prior Years – Wasting Refunds

refund photo
Today TaxMama® hears from C in the TaxQuips forum. She has an all-too common problem. “I have a tax return that I completed but did not mail off from 2013, I know you have to process your taxes within 3 years, is there any way to mail off this 2013 tax return and get my refund? If not will I owe the IRS money?




Dear Friends and Family,

The reason I am bringing this up today is, because the IRS is telling us that there is $1.1 billion waiting to be claimed by those who have not filed 2014 federal income tax returns. So, if you haven’t bothered because you don’t owe any money – read on!

Ishaan (Ish) starts by explaining:

I’m sorry, but the latest possible date to file a 2013 return for refund would have been October 15, 2017 (there are rare exceptions if you were financially incapacitated between then and now, the refund is from bad debts or worthless securities, etc. But they probably don’t apply to you.)

If the return showed a refund, the IRS is not going to fine you for not filing it. The refund is gone forever, alas.

TaxMama continues with:

Definitely file the tax return and close the year against long-term assessments. File the state return, too. You might still be able to get the state refund. Some states give you an extra year.

If you have any other old years still unfiled, please file them immediately. For instance, the refunds on 2014 will expire on April 15th of 2018. (Maybe April 17th, but don’t count on it.)

If you still have not filed 2014’s tax return, consider doing this. On the 2013, have the IRS apply your refund to 2014.  It probably won’t work if you already have a refund – but it might!  And if you owe money in 2014, it just might help reduce that balance. No promises. But you lose nothing by trying.

If you need help from a qualified tax professional, you can find Enrolled Agents (EAs)   here – Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) here –

Folks also read this post to see the trouble you can cause by avoiding filing your tax return because you don’t want the IRS to take your refunds –

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about the late filing problems and other tax and business issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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Photo by CreditDebitPro