Tax refunds left unclaimed from 2020 will expire later this month

FILE - Current federal tax forms are distributed at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service November 1, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says about $1 billion is still unclaimed in tax refunds from 2020. 

About 1 million people haven’t filed their tax returns for that year who are likely eligible for a refund if they do. 

The IRS says these taxes may still be filed and refunds claimed, but only until May 17. 

There's no penalty for failure to file if a refund is due. However, a return claiming a refund must be filed within three years of its due date for a refund to be allowed. 

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The 2020 filing deadline was pushed to May 17, due to COVID-19, making the three-year window deadline for 2020 unfiled returns May 17, 2024. 

After the expiration of the three-year period, the refund statute generally prevents the issuance of a refund check and the application of any credits, including overpayments of estimated taxes or withholding amounts, to other tax years that are underpaid, the IRS said. 

This story was reported from Detroit.