Act Now: Last Opportunity to Claim Your Unclaimed 2019 Tax Refund

Time is Running Out for Nearly 1.5 Million Americans to Secure Their Tax Refunds

Jul 8, 2023 - 12:15
Jul 8, 2023 - 12:16
Act Now: Last Opportunity to Claim Your Unclaimed 2019 Tax Refund
Act Now: Last Opportunity to Claim Your Unclaimed 2019 Tax Refund

The clock is ticking for eligible taxpayers to claim their unclaimed 2019 tax refunds, totaling a significant $1.5 billion. With the deadline set for July 17, the IRS is urging individuals to act swiftly. This article highlights the unclaimed refund opportunity, eligibility criteria, filing instructions, and available resources to help taxpayers retrieve their refunds before they revert to the US Treasury.

Taxes: Last Chance to Claim Your 2019 Refund

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a crucial reminder to taxpayers that they have a limited window to claim their unclaimed 2019 tax refunds. Surprisingly, approximately 1.5 million Americans still have the opportunity to retrieve their refunds, with a median amount of $893 per person. However, time is of the essence as the deadline for claiming these funds is approaching rapidly.

Unclaimed Tax Refunds: A Lucrative Opportunity

According to the IRS, approximately $1.5 billion in unclaimed tax refunds from the 2019 tax year are currently available. Individuals who are owed a refund have until July 17 to file their tax returns for 2019 and claim their unclaimed refunds. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the funds becoming the property of the US Treasury.

Eligibility and Potential Refund Amounts

Taxpayers who did not earn enough income to require filing a tax return may still be eligible for an unclaimed refund. The IRS emphasizes that these individuals will not face any penalties for filing late if they are owed a refund. Among the 1.5 million taxpayers with unclaimed refunds, many could receive amounts higher than the median refund. This is especially true for those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), who could potentially claim refunds of up to $6,557 for the 2019 tax year.

Claiming Unclaimed Refunds: Instructions and Considerations

To claim an unclaimed 2019 tax refund, taxpayers must file a paper return instead of electronically filing. The completed paper return should be sent to the IRS via certified mail to ensure proper delivery and confirmation. Taxpayers are advised to keep records of their mailing to track the processing and refund issuance.

It is crucial for taxpayers to take proactive steps and gather the necessary information without delay. Dwight Nakata, a certified public accountant at YNCPAs, recommends requesting copies of key tax documents such as Forms W-2, 1098, 1099, or 5498 for the relevant years (2019, 2020, or 2021). These documents can be obtained from employers, banks, or other payers. Tax forms for the 2019 tax year, including the 1040 and 1040-SR, are available on the official IRS website or by calling the toll-free number 800-TAX-FORM.

Implications and Future Considerations

Taxpayers should be aware of potential implications related to unfiled tax returns. Refunds may be withheld if taxpayers have outstanding returns for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. Additionally, the IRS or state tax agencies may retain refunds to offset unpaid child support or federal debts, including federal student loans. To ensure a successful refund claim, taxpayers must ensure that their tax returns are properly addressed, mailed, and postmarked no later than July 17, 2023.

Support for Low-Income Taxpayers: VITA Assistance

Low-income taxpayers facing challenges in filing their past-year tax returns can seek assistance from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. These sites offer valuable support in accessing essential credits such as the EITC and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Joanna Ain, Associate Director of Policy at Prosperity Now, emphasizes the significance of these resources in helping eligible families maximize their entitled benefits.


With the deadline rapidly approaching, eligible taxpayers must take immediate action to claim their unclaimed 2019 tax refunds. The potential financial gain, with a median refund of $893, can significantly impact individuals' financial situations. The IRS urges taxpayers to seize this final opportunity by filing their returns before July 17. To ensure a smooth and successful refund claim process, individuals are encouraged to consult professional tax advisors or visit the official IRS resources for personalized guidance and assistance.

Also Read: Exclusive: US Government Announces Full $7,500 Tax Credit Eligibility for All Tesla Model 3 Vehicles

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