$1.4 Billion Waiting to be Claimed by People Who Haven't Filed Income Tax Returns: IRS

Taxpayers are running out of time to grab their cash

Uncle Sam has an urgent message for taxpayers – come get your money!

The only way to get a tax refund is to file a tax return, but not everybody does that.

Maybe you forgot or didn't think you had to, especially if you didn't make that much money. The IRS warns that could mean you're missing out.

There are $1.4 billion in unclaimed refunds dating back all the way to 2015.

Taxpayers have three years to claim their cash, so that means if you don't make a move before April 15, the deadline to file your taxes, that money becomes the property of the government – forever.

"We found over time that a lot of times people are hesitant to file because of some event that takes place. There's a divorce, they're ill or a family member is ill or they lost a job, that type of situation," said Edward Karl from the American Institute of CPAs.

For 2015, the median unclaimed refund is $879. The amount due back to taxpayers also varies widely by state.

The IRS estimates about 129,000 people in Texas have unclaimed refunds worth roughly $158 million, more than any other state in the country.

California has a pot of money worth $124 million, Florida taxpayers are missing out on $96 million.

"The best approach if they have concerns about filing a return or how to file it accurately, they should reach out to a professional who can walk them through the system," said Karl.

The IRS says that if you don't owe any money, there is no penalty for filing a late tax return.

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