WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS has more than $2.5 billion it
could refund to nearly 2 million taxpayers who did not file a 2000
return. The lesson for taxpayers who earned too little to require a
return: You could be missing out on a big refund.

Those taxpayers, many of them students, retirees and part-time
workers, have until April 15 to file a 2000 tax return or lose the
refund forever.

“The clock is running if you want to get your
refund,” said IRS Commissioner Mark Everson.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late.”

About half the taxpayers due a return could claim more than
$529. In many cases, the individuals had taxes withheld from their
wages or made tax payments as a self-employed taxpayer but had too
little income to require filing a return.

Individuals with income less than $7,200 and married couples
with income less than $12,950 did not have to file a return in

The income threshold was slightly higher for those age 65 and
older. Dependents, such as students, had to file a return if they
earned $4,400 or more, or had $700 or more in unearned income such
as interest, dividends or capital gains.

Some may also be eligible for the earned income tax credit,
which refunds a portion of payroll taxes to lower wage workers.

In 2000, the credit was available to families with two children
who earned less than $31,152 and families with one child who earned
less than $27,417. Single taxpayers who earned less than $10,380
may also qualify for the credit.

There is no penalty for filing a late return if you qualify for
a refund, but the return must be postmarked by April 15 to beat the
deadline for claiming the payment.

Taxpayers seeking a 2000 refund must also have filed a tax
return for 2001 and 2002, or else the IRS holds onto the money
until receiving those returns.

If the taxpayer has unpaid child support or delinquent federal
debts like student loans, the refund will be applied to those
outstanding balances.

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