WASHINGTON, DC – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says there is $1 billion on the table in refunds owed to people who never filed a return in 2020 and U.S. Senator Jack Reed is urging Rhode Island residents who qualify to act before the May 17 deadline later this month to claim their refund.

Nationwide, about 900,000 Americans – including 2,600 Rhode Islanders – could miss out on unclaimed refunds and Economic Impact Payments they were due during the pandemic.  The average median refund for 2020 is $986 for Rhode Island residents. 

Overall, the IRS predicts that Rhode Islanders are still due an estimated $2.98 million in unclaimed tax year 2020 rebates.  However, the refunds are not automatic and require filers to act.

“I urge Rhode Islanders to claim the refunds they are owed.  The pandemic caused unusual circumstances and some people may have overlooked these refunds at the time.  But it’s not too late to act now and claim them before May 17,” said Senator Reed.

The nearly $3 million that is estimated to remain unclaimed in the Ocean State is because approximately 2,600 Rhode Island residents have yet to file their tax returns for tax year 2020, according to the IRS.

Under federal law, taxpayers have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they fail to do so by the deadline, their refund “becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury,” according to the IRS.

The deadline for outstanding returns usually falls around the annual Tax Day deadline, which was April 15 this year. However, due to the pandemic, it was postponed until May 17, 2021 to give people more time to file, in addition to no penalty for claiming a refund on any late returns.  So the three year deadline falls on May 17, 2024.

In order to receive these 2020 funds this year, tax filers must not be a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number issued before the tax return's due date.

The IRS advises: “Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years, 2020, 2021 or 2022 can request copies from their employer, bank or other payers.”  Or try using the “Get Transcript Online” tool at IRS.gov.

For more information and instructions on how to file, visit: