"Some who haven't filed yet for 2008 could be eligible for an even bigger refund than our records indicate," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone. "IRS won't know until they file if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Recovery Rebate Credit or both."
The law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2008 returns, the window closes on April 17.
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2008 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2009 and 2010.
Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2008, 2009 or 2010 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by ordering it on IRS.gov, filing Form 4506-T, or by calling 800-908-9946.