Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

When will I get my tax refund?

When will I get my tax refund?

Even people who don't fall victim to scammers sometimes make mistakes when filing their income taxes themselves, according to some certified public accountants in the Auburn-Opelika area.

When owners haven't set aside enough money to cover what they owe the government, they do have options, including using savings, borrowing money or working out a payment plan with the IRS.

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a tax refund.

In one version of the scam reported to the IRS, a taxpayer reported receiving a fraudulent refund, and later getting an automated call with a recording of someone claiming to be from the IRS. Generally, Americans have three years to file a past return before their refund money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. You may also want to check the security of any account that might be listed on your tax return, including your brokerage accounts. In Vermont, 27,000 people failed to file their return in 2014, leaving behind about $2 million. It's likely that any mail you receive with a return address that begins "Internal Revenue Service" is going to get your attention, but you should pay especially close attention to these due to the heightened risk of tax identity theft. Of course, if borrowing from someone you know can endanger a relationship or make it more hard, take that into consideration.

The 2014 refund can be withheld if the taxpayer has not filed returns for 2015 and 2016, the IRS said, and refunds will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or the state or could be used to offset unpaid child support or past-due federal debts, such as student loans.

Filing a past return could also be lucrative.

A representative from the office of Stephen Curry, a Certified Public Accountant in Auburn, said most people who try to file their own taxes don't realize that certain types of retirement income are taxable with the state of Alabama. For 2014, the credit was worth as much as $6,143. You'll have to get approval - the IRS says a taxpayer's specific circumstances will determine what plan options are available. To get your hands on old income forms (W2, 1098 or 1099), taxpayers can request copies from their employer or bank. Use different passwords for each account.

To collect the money, taxpayers must file their 2014 tax returns with the IRS no later than this year's tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17.

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance.

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