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More than 8K Kansans may lose out on a tax refund in May. How to find out if you’re one

Photography by Phillip Rubino/Getty Images

April 15 is the deadline to file your 2023 taxes, but before you click submit, you might want to make sure you’re not missing any returns from previous years.

The Internal Revenue Service estimates 940,000 taxpayers have unclaimed refund money from 2020, totaling more than $1 billion. If you’re one of the taxpayers who did not file four years ago, you’re facing a May 17 deadline to do so.

Usually the filing deadline for old refunds falls on Tax Day, but the window was pushed back in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS estimates that 8,700 Kansans are due unclaimed 2020 refunds, totaling more than $9.2 million.

The May deadline also applies for those who are eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, a credit for those who did not receive stimulus payments in 2020 or 2021. The credit can also be claimed for someone who died after 2020.

If you missed the first and second coronavirus stimulus payments, you would need to file for a 2020 credit. If you missed the third, you would need to file for the 2021 tax year.

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The credit can be claimed on your 2020 refund by either filing your filed 2020 return or amending it if already filed, according to the IRS. For eligible taxpayers, the credit would reduce how much money owed in your 2020 refund. Same goes for the 2021 tax year.

How to file your 2020 tax return by May 17

The IRS recommends requesting 2020 documents as soon as possible to not miss the May deadline.

You can request W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 forms from previous years from your employer or if you’re unable to, you can use the transcript tool on the IRS website. There you can order a free wage and income transcript online, which the IRS says is sometimes the easiest option for filing for previous years.

You can also fill out Form 4506-T to order a wage and income transcript.

Past year tax forms can be found on the IRS’ website.

How long will I have to wait to get my refund in Kansas?

If you’re expecting a tax refund this year, the wait to see it show up in your bank account is usually 24 days after being filed. For Kansas state refunds, you should expect a 10- to 14-day wait after filing if you filed online and a 16- to 20-week wait if you filed via mail.

You can check the status of your federal refund on the IRS website using their Where’s My Refund tool. The database is updated every day overnight. You can use it one day after your current year online file, four days after the previous year online file or four weeks after filing a paper tax return.

You can check the status of your state refund on the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website. The website is updated daily, but may take a day or two for results to post.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to make Monday’s 2023 tax deadline, you can file for an extension online using IRS Free File. Filing for an extension can give you an additional six months to file your taxes.