Community Issues

Tax Refunds Are Up, But Are You Getting What You're Owed?

More than $1.4 billion in refunds has gone unclaimed

After initial reports that early tax refunds were down this year, new data suggests they are climbing back up.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average refund as of March 1 was $3,068 compared to $3,046 a year ago.

But according to the Washington Post , millions or even billions of dollars are left on the table by people who don't claim their federal tax return. The Post says an estimated 1.2 million taxpayers have not filed their 2015 tax return and are owed $1.4 billion.

But taxpayers only have a three-year window to claim a tax refund before the money is sent back to the Treasury Department. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people don't file with the federal government because they don't realize they need to, fear they owe money, or don't realize they're eligible for a refund.

If you haven't filed, or believe you are owed a refund, there are several steps you can take. Of course, you can meet with a professional tax preparer. You can also click here to find free tax preparation help online . Additionally, you may qualify for help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Click here to find the VITA or TCE program closest to you .

Taking these steps can help make sure that you get all the money owed to you by Uncle Sam!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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