At Bond and Botes we are definitely all about sharing good news, especially if it involves overcoming financial hardships or getting a fresh start. But how about this great news……there are many Alabamians that may be owed money by the Internal Revenue Service and they don’t know it.
Apparently there are a large number of people in this state and across the country, as a matter of fact, that have not filed a tax return for the tax year ending December 31, 2013. The IRS has reported that it is holding more than $1 billion in unclaimed federal tax refunds for the tax year 2013. Now, this huge amount of money doesn’t belong only to Alabamians as there are as many as one million tax payers in America that did not file a tax return in 2013 and may be owed a refund. However, an estimated 18,000 of those, or more, could be from Alabama. If they do not file the 2013 return by April 18, 2017 (which is the deadline for filing 2016 tax returns this year), then even if they are owed a refund for 2013, they will not get it if the return is filed after that date.
The even better news….there is no penalty for filing a late tax return if you are owed a refund!
Now the important point to keep in mind is if the return is filed more than 3 years from the date it was due (the 2013 tax return was due by April 15, 2014, for example), then even though you may be owed a refund, you will not receive it.
If you file the return by the required date but you owe other taxes to the IRS, state or you owe for child support or defaulted student loans, the refund will be applied to those debts owed. Further, if you are owed a refund and file the return more than 3 years after it became due, and you owe for any of the above listed debts, that refund will NOT be applied to those debts. If you file your return outside the 3 year window of when the return becomes due, unfortunately any refund at that point belongs to the U.S. Treasury.
Additionally, keep in mind that there are certain tax debts that may be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Bond and Botes can help you with tax questions as they relate to bankruptcy to determine if you are obligated to pay your tax debt. Many people are afraid of the IRS and are misinformed concerning these complex issues.
Contact one of our offices today if you would like to meet with one of our attorneys for a free consultation regarding your situation. We are here to help you (especially if it means putting money back in your pocket!)
Suzanne Shinn is a shareholder of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama and Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. She joined the Bond & Botes team in 1992 as its first associate attorney and has been helping clients navigate the bankruptcy process ever since. Read her full bio here.