Tax Tip 2023-73: There’s still time to file a 2019 tax return and claim valuable tax credits

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IRS Tax Tips May 30, 2023

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Issue Number:  Tax Tip 2023-73


There’s still time to file a 2019 tax return and claim valuable tax credits

It’s not too late for the 1.5 million taxpayers with unclaimed 2019 refunds to claim their cash, but they need to file soon. The IRS extended the deadline for 2019 tax returns to July 17, 2023.

Extended filing deadline for 2019 tax refunds
Taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. The three-year deadline for filing 2019 returns to claim a refund was in 2022, but the IRS postponed the deadline to July 17, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means taxpayers still have time to claim valuable family tax credits.

Child Tax Credit
Taxpayers who claim at least one child as their dependent on their tax return may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit. Taxpayers can check details about claiming this credit on a 2019 tax return before time runs out. For help figuring out if a child qualifies for this credit, taxpayers can check Does My Child/Dependent Qualify for the Child Tax Credit or the Credit for Other Dependents?

Child and Dependent Care Credit
If taxpayers paid someone to take care of their children or another member of their household while they worked in 2019, they may qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit regardless of their income. Taxpayers who pay for daycare expenses may be eligible to claim up to 35% of their daycare expenses with certain limits.

Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility for 2019
Taxpayers with earned income may be eligible for the EITC. This credit helps people whose incomes were below certain levels. For 2019, the credit is worth as much as $6,557. Many low- and moderate-income workers could miss out on the EITC if they don’t file their 2019 tax return.

The IRS may hold a 2019 tax refund check if the taxpayer hasn’t filed tax returns for 2020 and 2021, and it may apply refunds to:

  • Outstanding federal or state tax bills
  • Unpaid child support
  • Past due federal debts such as student loans

Need to file a 2019 tax return?
For current and prior year tax forms and instructions, taxpayers can check Forms, Instructions & Publications. Taxpayers can still get the information they need to file a 2019 tax return, but they should start early to make sure they have enough time to file before the deadline on July 17, 2023.

Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2019, 2020 or 2021 should ask for copies from their employer, bank or other payers.

If financial documents are unavailable, taxpayers can order wage and income transcripts
If taxpayers can’t get their information from their employer, bank or other payer, they can request a wage and income transcript from the IRS. A wage and income transcript shows data from information returns received by the IRS, such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498 and IRA contribution information. Taxpayers can use the information from the transcript to file their tax return.

The fastest and easiest way to get a transcript is with IRS Get Transcript Online. Taxpayers can also file Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Written requests can take several weeks to process, so the IRS recommends that people use the online tool or order their transcript soon if they’re requesting it by paper.

More information:
Interactive Tax Assistant

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