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Are You Among the Thousands Eligible to Claim Your Share of the $1 Billion in Tax Refunds for 2020?

Updated: Apr 15

The Internal Revenue Service announced that almost 940,000 people across the nation have unclaimed refunds for tax year 2020 but face a May 17 deadline to submit their tax returns. 

25,400 Arizona residents are owed $26,939,600 in tax refunds for 2020

The IRS estimates more than $1 billion in refunds remain unclaimed because people haven’t filed their 2020 tax returns yet. The average median refund is $932 for 2020, and the state-by-state table below shows how many people are potentially eligible for these refunds in each state along with the median average refund by state. 

“There’s money remaining on the table for hundreds of thousands of people who haven’t filed 2020 tax returns,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “We want taxpayers to claim these refunds, but time is running out for people who may have overlooked or forgotten about these refunds. There’s a May 17 deadline to file these returns so taxpayers should start soon to make sure they don’t miss out.” 

2020 income tax refunds expire May 17, 2023

Under the law, taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they don’t file within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. 

But for 2020 tax returns, people have a little more time than usual to file to claim their refunds. Typically, the normal filing deadline to claim old refunds falls around the April tax deadline, which is April 15 this year for 2023 tax returns. But the three-year window for 2020 unfiled returns was postponed to May 17, 2024, due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The IRS issued Notice 2023-21 on Feb. 27, 2023, providing legal guidance on claims required by the postponed deadline. 


Est. Taxpayer's

Median Refund

Total Potential Refunds













New Mexico




By missing out on filing a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2020. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2020, the EITC was worth as much as $6,660 for taxpayers with qualifying children.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2020 tax refund that their funds may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2021 and 2022. In addition, any refund amount for 2020 will be applied to amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or other past due federal debts, such as student loans.

With nearly a million individuals nationwide having unclaimed refunds for tax year 2020, time is of the essence to submit their tax returns by the May 17 deadline. Mark Sullivan Consulting stands ready to assist taxpayers in claiming these refunds and navigating the complexities of filing their 2020 income tax returns. Don't miss out on potential refunds or valuable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit—contact Mark Sullivan Consulting today to ensure you receive the maximum benefits you're entitled to.

Request a free consultation HERE with Mark W. Sullivan, EA .

About the author

Mark W. Sullivan, EA founded Sullivan Consulting in 1998. He specializes in federal tax controversy representation, appeals and consulting on behalf of individuals, businesses, law, and accounting firms nationwide. In addition, he has served as the consulting and expert witness in numerous civil and criminal cases in multiple federal district courts.

Mark has an unlimited Enrolled Agents license and is admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service based on his extensive experience as a Revenue Officer in New York, NY, St. Louis, MO and Washington, D.C.


Copyright 2024

Mark Sullivan Consulting, PLLC.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and cannot be cited as precedent or relied upon in a tax dispute before the IRS.

Additional references:

IR-2024-80 (March 25, 2024)


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