Have you not filed your 2016 tax return? Do you think you are entitled to a 2106 tax refund? You need to file your 2016 federal tax return by April 18, 2020 to be eligible to receive a refund based on the return.  You must file your tax return with in three years of the due date in order to receive it. The IRS has recently reported that over a million taxpayers who may be eligible for a refund for their 2016 tax return have not filed that return.  If those taxpayers do not file that return by the April 18, 2020 deadline they lose out on that refund. 

No penalties for returns that show refunds

There is no penalty to file your tax return late if you do not owe a balance on that return.  So you could file your 2016 return and get your full refund back to you, if you do not owe back taxes.  If you have back taxes, or other debt that the Treasury Department is responsible for collecting, your 2016 tax refund will be applied to those debts. These debts can include delinquent federal student loans, delinquent child support, state income tax debt, and much more.

If you wait to file your 2016 past the April 18, 2020 deadline your account will be “zeroed out” by the IRS and you will not get your refund or have your refund be applied to back debt. Basically, file for your 2016 tax refund soon or forever waive your rights.

Extension for 2019 Tax Return

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the Internal Revenue Service moved the regular filing deadline for 2019 tax returns to July 15, 2020.  This extension also includes payments on the 2019 balances.  However, this extension has no bearing on the deadline for the 2016 returns and their possible refunds.

If you complete your 2016 returns and you owe a balance it is important to get that filed as soon as possible.  You have already accrued a failure-to-file penalty, which is 25% of the balance.  There are also failure-to-pay penalties and interest that will also be owed on the account. The sooner you get that filed the sooner you can take the necessary steps to start repaying the amount owed. 

Arthur Rosatti, Esq. is a licensed attorney authorized to represent clients with the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court. He has experience negotiating with various taxing agencies on behalf of individuals and companies.  If you have concerns about your tax liabilities, making estimated tax payments, or correcting your withholding, schedule an appointment with our office.