Tax Time Guide: IRS Publication 17 helps taxpayers with 2017 taxes


WASHINGTON — Taxpayers who are looking for a comprehensive guide of 2017 tax benefits and useful tips to help them with their taxes don’t have to go further than IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

The IRS has developed the Tax Time Guide, a series of nine news releases to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues as this year’s April 17 deadline nears. This is the third news release in the series.

Publication 17 is a 290-page document packed with basic tax-filing information and tips on what income to report and how to report it, figuring capital gains and losses, claiming dependents, choosing the standard deduction versus itemizing deductions and using IRAs to save for retirement.

Publication 17 features a rundown on tax changes for the 2017 tax year and has details on taking advantage of a wide range of tax-saving opportunities. This includes tax credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit for parents and college students, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income workers.

Publication 17 has been available free on the IRS web site,, since 1996 and provides thousands of interactive links to help taxpayers quickly find answers to their tax questions.

Besides Publication 17, offers many other helpful resources for taxpayers, such as tax forms and publications for tax year 2017 and prior years. Taxpayers can also download Publication 17 and other tax publications on mobile devices as an eBook at no charge.

Taxpayers can find answers to questions, forms and instructions and easy-to-use tools online at 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No appointment required and no waiting on hold.

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IRS: Refunds worth $1.1 billion waiting to be claimed by those who have not filed 2014 federal income tax returns

WASHINGTON ―Unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling about $1.1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2014 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

To collect the money, these taxpayers must file their 2014 tax return with the IRS no later than this year’s tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17.

“We’re trying to connect a million people with their share of $1.1 billion in unclaimed refunds for 2014,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “Time is running out for people who haven’t filed tax returns to claim their refunds. Students, part-time workers and many others may have overlooked filing for 2014. And there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

The IRS estimates the midpoint for the potential refunds for 2014 to be $847; half of the refunds are more than $847 and half are less.

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2014 tax returns, the window closes April 17, 2018. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by that date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2014 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2015 and 2016. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2014. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2014, the credit was worth as much as $6,143. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2014 were:

  • $46,997 ($52,427 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $43,756 ($49,186 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $38,511 ($43,941 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,590 ($20,020 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2014 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2014, 2015 or 2016 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms from their employer or other payer can order a free wage and income transcript at using the Get Transcript Online tool. Alternatively, they can file Form 4506-T to request a wage and income transcript. A wage and income transcript shows data from information returns received by the IRS, such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498, and IRA contribution Information. Taxpayers can use the information on the transcript to file their tax return.

State-by-state estimates of individuals who may be due 2014 income tax refunds 

State or District Estimated

Number of








Alabama 17,700 $836 $18,302,700
Alaska 4,500 $898 $5,263,200
Arizona 23,800 $750 $23,496,700
Arkansas 9,500 $808 $9,726,900
California 93,600 $785 $95,745,100
Colorado 20,400 $796 $20,887,500
Connecticut 11,000 $934 $12,740,100
Delaware 4,000 $883 $4,378,400
District of Columbia 3,000 $850 $3,237,700
Florida 69,800 $865 $74,040,300
Georgia 34,800 $772 $35,006,000
Hawaii 6,200 $898 $6,830,900
Idaho 4,500 $723 $4,376,100
Illinois 39,500 $895 $43,600,000
Indiana 22,700 $878 $24,353,000
Iowa 10,500 $885 $11,083,400
Kansas 11,100 $852 $11,645,300
Kentucky 13,600 $848 $14,035,100
Louisiana 19,900 $846 $21,700,800
Maine 4,000 $804 $3,941,700
Maryland 21,800 $853 $23,773,000
Massachusetts 22,800 $935 $26,018,500
Michigan 34,100 $845 $36,505,700
Minnesota 15,800 $785 $15,832,600
Mississippi 10,200 $777 $10,291,100
Missouri 23,000 $797 $23,212,400
Montana 3,500 $808 $3,617,700
Nebraska 5,600 $806 $5,629,100
Nevada 12,000 $831 $12,663,200
New Hampshire 4,600 $917 $5,169,500
New Jersey 28,600 $928 $32,452,500
New Mexico 7,800 $831 $8,472,600
New York 53,600 $913 $60,135,600
North Carolina 30,800 $791 $30,659,900
North Dakota 3,000 $952 $3,433,300
Ohio 38,100 $826 $38,956,700
Oklahoma 17,200 $855 $18,366,800
Oregon 15,100 $747 $14,816,600
Pennsylvania 39,300 $907 $42,866,100
Rhode Island 2,900 $916 $3,217,200
South Carolina

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