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A Tax Refund Time Machine?

This post is the first in a series of weekly posts containing tax information and filing tips. Check back next week for our next post, or click here to read past posts.

It’s February, which means tax season is in full swing (even if you are in denial). For those who haven’t yet filed their 2012 taxes, I offer an item for your consideration prior to the April 15 deadline. Even those families who have already filed their tax returns for the last tax year (and hopefully claimed tax credits for which they were eligible) shouldn’t stop reading here.

April 15 isn’t just the deadline for filing your 2012 tax return without an extension. It’s the deadline for filing past tax returns! Specifically, it is the deadline for the nearly one million individuals and families who failed to file a 2009 tax return. Practically speaking, this means you can go back in time three years and get a do-over on your taxes.

Why bother to file a tax return after three years? Well, the IRS estimates that nearly $1 billion in refunds has been just sitting in the vaults, so to speak, and that over half of those who failed to file a 2008 return may be entitled to a refund of over $600.

If this news has piqued your interest, visit the IRS’ website for more information, because the decision to file a prior year’s tax return involves other considerations besides the potential for a refund.