The Internal Revenue Service recently advised that it is holding US$1billion for people who haven’t filed their 2008 United States tax returns.

The timeframe within which a refund of overpaid tax may be claimed is three years from the date the return was due for filing. 2008 returns were due for filing by 15 April 2009 (with the extension of time for filing, this date was 15 October 2009). Accordingly, the date of expiry for 2008 returns is 17 April 2012 (normally 15 April 2012 however extended in 2012 to 17 April 2012).

Even United States citizens living outside the United States citizens may qualify for a refund for 2008, due to the economic stimulus tax credits that were made available for the 2008 tax year (the Recovery Rebate Credit).

The Internal Revenue Service also advises that taxpayers need to have filed 2009 and 2010 tax returns to qualify for a credit and that the 2008 credit will be applied to any amounts still owed to the Internal Revenue Service.