Refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for one million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2008, the Internal Revenue Service said.
But to collect the money, a return for 2008 must be filed with the IRS no later than April 17, 2012.
The IRS estimates that half of these potential 2008 refunds are more than $600.
In Ohio, more than 36,000 people didn't file a return in 2008. The estimated median return for those people is $622.
In some cases, people may not have filed their 2008 returns because they had too little income to require filing, even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments.
Workres have three years to claim a refund. If they don't, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
For 2008 returns, the window closes on April 17, 2012. The return must be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date.
There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.
Of course, if you didn't file tax returns for 2009 and 2010 either, the IRS may hold your 2008 refund.
If you don't file a return, you could lose more than a tax refund. Some people, especially those who did not receive an economic stimulus payment in 2008, may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available 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 2008, 2009 or 2010 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by ordering it on IRS.gov, filing Form 4506-T, or by calling 800-908-9946.