The IRS estimates that 1.5 million Americans are entitled to 2019 federal tax refunds that they have not claimed, including thousands of households in every state and DC. Millions of people forgot to file 2019 tax returns, because the filing season occurred during the height of the pandemic emergency in 2020. To claim a 2019 federal tax refund, you must file a 2019 return by July 17, 2023. After that date, any unclaimed refunds become the property of the U.S. Treasury.
Even if you owed little or no tax for 2019, you may still be entitled to an IRS refund if you qualified for a refundable tax credit, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit (PTC). The IRS estimates that not including refundable credits, the median unclaimed 2019 refund is $893, which means that half of the available refunds are greater than that amount.
The IRS advises starting this process early, because you may need to track down wage statements and other documents from 2019.