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10 Tax Refund Myths

        Money | Taxes

7
Since I'm getting a refund, I can take as long as I want to file
You have three years to file a return to claim a refund. After that you lose it.
You have three years to file a return to claim a refund. After that you lose it.
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It seems that a lot of people think this one is true. In 2010, the IRS announced that 1.4 million people, who were due a refund, still hadn't filed their income-tax return for the 2006 tax year. The IRS was trying to deliver the $1.3 billion in refunds that these people were owed. That's a medium unclaimed refund amount of $604 [source: Herman].

The law allows most taxpayers three years to file a return to claim their refund. If no return is filed, the money belongs to the U.S. Treasury.

While there are no penalties for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund, you're required to bring your filings up to date. Taxpayers seeking a past due refund will find that their check will be held if they haven't filed their more recent returns as well [source: Herman].