Indianapolis News and HeadlinesWRTV Investigates


Indiana taxpayers have not claimed $32 million in tax refunds

Many people didn’t file their 2019 returns because the COVID-19 pandemic hit during tax time in March 2020.
Tax Refund Delays
Posted at 1:28 PM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-09 06:26:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS— The Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday more than 31,000 Indiana taxpayers have yet to claim $32 million in tax refunds from 2019.

Many people didn’t file their 2019 returns because the COVID-19 pandemic hit during tax time in March 2020.

Under the law, taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they don't file within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.

Taxpayers have until the July 17 deadline to claim their refunds, which average $916 in Indiana.

If you’re not sure if you filed your 2019 return or not, you can check your IRS account or check with your tax preparer.

The Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday nearly 1.5 million people across the country still need to submit a tax return to claim their refunds for tax year 2019 by the July 17 deadline.

“Time is running out for more than a million people to get their tax refunds for 2019,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “Many people may have overlooked filing a 2019 tax return due to the pandemic. We don’t want people to miss their window to receive their refund. We encourage people to check their records and act quickly before the deadline. The IRS has several important ways that people can get help.”

The three-year window for 2019 unfiled returns was postponed to July 17, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2019 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2020 and 2021.

You can find Current and prior-year tax forms(such as the tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR) and instructions are available online on the IRS Forms, Instructions and Publications [] page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Here are some tips from the IRS:

  • Request copies of key documents: Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2019, 2020 or 2021 can request copies from their employer, bank or other payers.
  • Use Get Transcript Online at Taxpayers who are unable to get those missing forms from their employer or other payers can order a free wage and income transcript at using the Get Transcript Online [] tool. For many taxpayers, this is by far the quickest and easiest option.
  • Request a transcript. Another option [] is for people to file Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return [], with the IRS to request a “wage and income transcript.” 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. But plan ahead – these written requests can take several weeks; people are strongly urged to try the other options first.