Look, we know, paying taxes sucks. There’s all sorts of forms and deadlines and it’s all in the service of you losing money. Well, usually. Sometimes you get lucky and you actually get money back, which is basically the only reason to pay your taxes. That and staying out of jail of course. Still, if you don’t file your taxes, you’ll never know that money is owed to you. And right now almost one million people across the country are missing out on refunds from their 2009 taxes, including 62,700 of them here in New York.
Consumerist crunched the numbers and found that there’s $917,426,000 in unclaimed refunds from 2009 hanging out in the government treasury, waiting to be claimed by their lucky recipients. In New York, the median refund is $620, which you could use for a decent vacation or blow it all at Peter Luger’s. And it’s not like this is some trap to capture tax scofflaws: Consumerist points out that there’s no penalty for filing late if you don’t actually owe anything. So if you can file by April 15, you could be looking at a chunk of change in your wallet.
Although if you didn’t file for 2010 and 2011 either, the IRS will still hold on to your cash until you pay those years too. But c’mon, really, if you haven’t filed your taxes for three years, you’re probably getting off easy if all the IRS does is take your refund. They could send Irwin R. Schyster after you.