Deadline to Claim Outstanding $1.5 Billion in 2019 Tax Refunds is Fast Approaching

Date: July 6, 2023

The IRS recently stated that there are $1.5 Billion in unclaimed tax returns from 2019 for the 1.5 million people who failed to file a claim. Due to a Covid-19 extension, people have until July 17, 2023, to file their 2019 income tax return to be eligible for a potential refund. According to the IRS, the median return for 2019 was $893. Low- and moderate-income earners may also qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a credit worth as much as $6,557. Steps to file your 2019 tax returns may be found below.


Who is eligible?

Taxpayers who failed to file a 2019 income tax return. It is estimated that 31,700 Hoosiers still need to file a 2019 income tax return.


Potential Refund

The IRS claims nearly $1.5 billion in refunds remain unclaimed from 2019. The average median refund for 2019 was $893. In Indiana, the median potential refund is actually higher than the national median at $916 (the actual refund amount will vary based on a household’s tax situation).

It is important to note that taxpayers seeking a 2019 refund may have their checks held if they have yet to file tax returns for 2020 and 2021. Additionally, refunds may be applied to any amount still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency.


Earned Income Tax Credit


Many low- and moderate-income earners may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Earned Income Tax Credit helps individuals and families whose 2019 income fell below a certain threshold. The 2019 Earned Income Tax Credit was worth as much as $6,557 and is distributed through your tax refund.


Deadline and Next Steps

With the Covid-19 deadline extension granted by the IRS, the deadline to file your 2019 income tax return and have it postmarked is now July 17, 2023—only a few weeks away. However, there is still time to act. If you are missing any tax documents necessary for your 2019 return, there are multiple places to access essential documents necessary to file your tax return. Options 1 or 2 are your best options, with the July 17 deadline approaching.


Option 1: Request copies of key documents

Taxpayers missing W-2, 1098, 1099, or 5498 can request copies from their employer, bank, or other payers


Option 2: Use Get Transcript Online at (quickest and easiest option)

Individuals can order a free wage and income transcript at using their online tool:


Option 3: Request a transcript (requires the most amount of time)

File Form 4506-T to request a “wage and income transcript” to receive your W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498, and IRA contribution information.


What if I decide not to file a 2019 tax return?

If you miss the deadline or decide not to file a return, your potential refund becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.


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If you have questions or would like to consult with an attorney, contact the Indiana Legal Services Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at or (812) 339-7668.

Eli Nahmias,
Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Law Clerk