If you did not file a return for 2008 and were due a refund, the deadline is fast approaching. In order to collect the refund, your return must be postmarked, properly addressed, and mailed by Tuesday, April 17, 2012. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
It is especially beneficial for individuals that had federal income tax withheld from their paychecks or who made quarterly estimated payments. In addition, you may find that you may qualify for refundable credits, such as the Earned Income Credit, which would increase the net amount of refund to you or the Recovery Rebate Credit if you did not receive an Economic Stimulus payment in 2008.
In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
Before you file, make sure that you contact the IRS and the Financial Management Service (FMS) to make sure that you do not owe past due obligations. If you have not filed tax returns for 2009 and 2010 and have a filing requirement, your refund may be held. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.
If you need copies of your tax records from previous years, you can request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by ordering them on the IRS website at https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do, completing Form 4506-T, or by calling 1-800-908-9946.