Didn't file a 2009 tax return? You could be missing out on a federal tax refund of up to $5,657.
The IRS is reminding 984,400 U.S. taxpayers who didn't file in 2009 that they could be eligible for tax refunds. In California, there's an estimated 100,700 taxpayers who could qualify for a median refund of $516, according to IRS estimates.
In some cases, taxpayers didn't file a 2009 return because they didn't owe anything. But thousands could be in line for a tax refund, especially those with minimal income that qualifies them for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
There's a three-year window to claim an IRS tax refund, which for 2009 returns will expire this year on Monday, April 15. If you don't file a return by then, the money is gone.
For questions, call the IRS help line at (800) 829-1040. To find 2009 tax forms, go to www.irs.gov ("Forms and Publications" page) or call 800-TAX-FORM (829-3676).
Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968. Read her Personal Finance blog, www.sacbee.com/personalfinanceblog.