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If you haven’t filed your 2020 tax return, the IRS might owe you money, including the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. The unclaimed refund deadline is approaching, with the IRS holding over $1 billion in unclaimed money for nearly 940,000 taxpayers from 2020. Filers have until May 17, 2024, to claim any missing refunds from 2020. By law, the IRS keeps unclaimed tax refunds for three years before transferring the money to the US Treasury. If you missed out on any of the economic impact payments in 2020 or 2021, you have until specific deadlines to claim your missing money.

Taxpayers have until May 17, 2024, to file their 2020 tax return and claim any missing refund from that year. Since prior-year tax returns cannot be filed electronically, you must print and mail your 2020 tax return for 2021 to the IRS. To find out if the IRS has an unclaimed tax refund for you, you will need to file a return for that specific year. The IRS Where’s My Refund tool does not help in this regard. You can find out the amount of your missing Recovery Rebate Credit by using the IRS Form 1040 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet or checking your IRS online account for the amounts of the economic impact payments.

To claim a refund for 2020, you need to submit your 2020 tax return through the mail, as prior-year tax returns cannot be e-filed. Tax software can assist you in completing the necessary forms and schedules. The deadline for most tax filers to postmark their printed tax return is May 17, 2024. If you have not filed tax returns for 2021 and 2022, the IRS may continue to hold your 2020 tax refund. You can find the required tax forms for 2020 on the IRS forms page, and if you are missing any documents, the IRS recommends requesting copies from your employer or bank.

If you believe you were due a refund but did not receive one, your tax refund may have been offset to cover tax debt, state income tax, child support, student loans, or other federal debts. The IRS manages offsets for past-due federal taxes and will send you a notice explaining the offset. Other refund offsets are handled by the Treasury Offset Program, and you should receive a notice if your tax refund was used to pay debts. If you do not believe you owe back federal taxes and receive an offset notice, you can contact the IRS for more information.

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