NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Early this week the IRS announced that 1.5 million U.S. taxpayers who did not file a 2018 federal income tax return could be leaving a combined $1.5 billion on the table in unclaimed refunds. According to the IRS, $9.5 million is owed to nearly 10,000 New Mexico taxpayers.

The IRS estimates the average for the potential refunds for 2018 to be $813, which is half of the refunds are more than $813 and half are less. In New Mexico, it’s estimated that 9,893 people haven’t filed their 2018 taxes valued at $9,613,090. That’s an average of $804 per New Mexican.

People have a three-year window to claim any refunds for unfiled taxes. That window closes on April 18, 2022. According to the IRS, if no return is filed to claim a refund, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

By failing to file a tax return, people could lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2018. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2018, the credit was worth as much as $6,431. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2018 were:

  • $49,194 ($54,884 if married filing jointly) for those 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 those with one qualifying child; and
  • $15,270 ($20,950 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms from their employer or another payer can order a free wage and income transcript at IRS.gov using the Get Transcript Online tool. Alternatively, they can file Form 4506-T to request a wage and income transcript.