tax refunds

Claim Your 2018 Tax Refund Now – Or Lose It Forever

There are about 1.5 million unclaimed 2018 tax refunds worth roughly $1.5 billion…but you need to act fast if any of that money is yours.

The IRS is looking for about 1.5 million people who didn't file a 2018 tax return and who might be owed a refund of taxes that were withheld or otherwise prepaid. In fact, Uncle Sam has almost $1.5 billion of potential refunds waiting to be claimed. The median potential refund is estimated to be $813. Is any of that money yours?

Claim Your Refund By April 18

Act now if you think some of that cash could belong to you. In cases where a federal tax return was not filed, the taxpayer generally has a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund. That means you must file your 2018 tax return with the IRS no later than this year's tax filing deadline to collect the money. For most people, that's April 18 (April 19 for residents of Maine or Massachusetts). If you don't file a 2018 return in time, the U.S. Treasury gets the money and you're out of luck.

Missing W-2 and Other 2018 Tax Forms?

If you're missing W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 forms from 2018, try getting copies from your employer, bank or other payer. If that doesn't work, you can go on the IRS website and order a free wage and income transcript or request one by filing Form 4506-T. The transcript will show data from information returns received by the IRS. This information can be used to file your 2018 tax return.

What If You Have a Tax Debt or Didn't File Other Returns?

The IRS could hold your 2018 refund check if you didn't file a 2019 or 2020 return, either. In addition, the IRS may also apply your 2018 refund to any federal or state taxes you owe for other years — or to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

Eligibility for 2018 Earned Income Tax Credit

By filing a 2018 tax return, many low- and moderate-income workers may also be eligible for the earned income tax credit for that year. The credit was worth as much as $6,431 for 2018. The credit helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2018 were:

  • $49,194 ($54,884 if married filing jointly) for people with three or more qualifying children;
  • $45,802 ($51,492 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $40,320 ($46,010 if married filing jointly) for people with one qualifying child; and
  • $15,270 ($20,950 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Most Popular

How to Use Your Estate Plan to Save on Taxes While You’re Still Alive!
estate planning

How to Use Your Estate Plan to Save on Taxes While You’re Still Alive!

Upstream basis planning is a trust strategy that can save wealthy people on their capital gains taxes and income taxes associated with highly apprecia…
July 3, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
5 Ways to Prepare for a Recession
recession

5 Ways to Prepare for a Recession

The signs seem to be pointing in one direction these days, so if you’re worried about being ready for a recession, consider taking these five measures…
June 28, 2022

Recommended

Retirees, Make These Midyear Moves to Cut Next Year's Tax Bill
Tax Breaks

Retirees, Make These Midyear Moves to Cut Next Year's Tax Bill

Save money next April by making these six hot-as-July tax moves.
July 1, 2022
Biden Proposes Gas Tax Holiday, Urges States to Do the Same
Tax Breaks

Biden Proposes Gas Tax Holiday, Urges States to Do the Same

The proposed three-month federal gas tax holiday would bring down the price of gasoline slightly, while state gas tax holidays could reduce the price …
July 1, 2022
IRS Increases Mileage Rates Because of High Gas Prices
Tax Breaks

IRS Increases Mileage Rates Because of High Gas Prices

The higher mileage rates, which are used to calculate certain tax deductions for business and other uses of a car, took effect on July 1.
July 1, 2022
How 13 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed
retirement

How 13 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed

When you're planning for retirement, it's fun to contemplate all the travel and rounds of golf ahead of you, but don't forget about taxes.
June 30, 2022