There's 86,000 of them in Texas, over 100,000 in California and even a couple thousand in South Dakota.
We're talking about people who didn't file a 2009 tax return. If you're one of them, the IRS wants to meet you ... and give you some money.
According to a press release last week, the IRS has $917 million in un-disbursed refunds just waiting for almost a million missing returns to be filed. In Alabama, for example, there's over $13 million in refund money sitting in the IRS coffers, for an average unclaimed return of $565.
The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds for 2009 are worth more than $500. You should be especially interested if you qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2009. (If you earned less than $48,279 in household income, it's possible.)
According to the IRS, "some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments." But you still have three years to claim a refund. So for 2009 non-filers, that money will be lost forever unless you claim it before April 15th, 2013. And you won't be penalized if you qualify for a refund.
However, if you also failed to file in 2010 or 2011, you'll have to file returns for both those years as well to get your refund. And if you owe money in taxes or other federal debts such as student loans or child support, your refund might be applied to those debts.
You can find current and prior year tax forms and instructions on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2009, 2010 or 2011 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer.