Does the IRS Owe You Money?
VAN NUYS – As taxpayers rushed to file last-minute returns by tonight’s midnight deadline, Congressman Brad Sherman is helping Californians uncover over $250 million in old refunds that are just waiting to be delivered to over 97,000 Californians. Nationwide there’s an estimated $3 billion in unclaimed refunds for the 2013 to 2015 tax years. Three individuals each stand to receive more than $150,000.
Last year, the California FTB could not locate thousands of taxpayers due refunds – refunds which remain undelivered. In Los Angeles County, those taxpayer refunds average more than $600.
“Tax refunds belong in your pocket, not stowed in a cob-webbed corner of a dark safe at the IRS,” Sherman said at a press conference outside the IRS offices in the San Fernando Valley. “If there is any chance you have an unclaimed refund, check our website to see if you’re on the list.”
How to Get Your Refund
For more information about how to claim an undelivered or unclaimed tax refund, visit my website at BradSherman.house.gov.
Trump’s Tax Returns
Sherman also addressed the ongoing controversies surrounding the disclosure of President Donald Trump’s tax returns and all the business entities he controls. Trump is the first president since President Richard Nixon to refuse to release his tax information to the public.
We cannot know if Donald Trump is indebted to Russian oligarchs or Russian banks without seeing his tax returns. And we cannot evaluate Trump’s tax reform proposals without knowing how it will affect him. He has already made one proposal, repeal of the Estate Tax, which would save his family over $1 billion, increase the national debt by $270 billion—all while saving not one cent for any couple with assets under $11 million.
“In 2011, Mr. Trump said he would release his tax returns if he ran for president, yet the American people are still in the dark on what conflicts of interest this President is hiding,” Sherman said.
In Congress, Sherman has voted once a week (six times) to bring resolutions to the House floor that would force Trump to release his tax returns.
Sherman is a Certified Public Accountant. Before he was elected to Congress in 1996, Sherman was chairman of the California State Board of Equalization; the nation’s only elected tax commission and America’s second largest tax agency.
“Unclaimed Refunds” refers to people who never filed their tax returns, but would get a refund if they did. For folks who have not filed, the law allows a three-year window for claiming a return before that money becomes the property of the US Treasury.
Refunds totaling over $3 billion may be waiting for Americans who did not file a federal income tax return for 2013, 2014 and 2015. In California, there is an estimated $250 million in unclaimed refunds. Many people don’t file returns because they had too little income to require filing a tax return, even though they had income and /or social security taxes withheld from their wages. However many of these people are due significant refunds.
Many low-and-moderate income workers qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can be worth more than $6,000. So even if you had zero federal income tax withheld from your paycheck, you may be entitled to a refund.
“I encourage all eligible workers to file a return, said Sherman. “This is your money, and you should take advantage of it.”
Extending the April 18th Deadline
If you need extra time to prepare your return, you can file a 6-month extension using IRS form 4868 and California FTB form 3519. Your new deadline to file personal income tax returns with the IRS and the California FTB will be Monday, October 16, 2017.
You can apply for an online installment plan with the IRS here. If you are ineligible for an online agreement, you may still pay in installments by filling out Form 9465 and Form 433F. If you have any questions, call 1 (800) 829-1040.
If you are unable to pay your full state tax liability to the California Franchise Tax Board, you can apply for a monthly installment agreement online, via phone, or by mail. To find more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply click here.
Scams & Frauds to Avoid
Identity theft comes in many forms. “Phishing” is scam carried out from an unsolicited email or phony website. The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS should be reported to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For phishing scams by phone, fax or mail, call 1-800-366-4484. Report IRS impersonation scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s IRS Impersonation Scams Reporting. If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
More information can be found on the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft at https://www.irs.gov/uac/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft
*The dollar amounts in this press release are estimated based on the most recent data available from the IRS