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Taxpayers Leave Money on the Table - John Dunn

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It is possible you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of your own money, and you only have three weeks to get it back.
    
Inside the Woodbine Community Center, it is tax time. The United Way offers free tax prep for people or families making $58,000 or less. While the process can be arduous, some people leave happy. "It's a great day, it's a great day," says tax filer Ron Phillips.

Ron Phillips already knows how he plans to spend his refund. "By getting a refund it means that I'm probably going to Gatlinburg," says Phillips.

Not everyone files their taxes, and some could be missing out on money. The IRS just released new information. 16,300 Tennesseans did not file in 2010.  "If they would file a return for 2010, the would get a refund back," says IRS spokesman Dan Boone.

Thousands of Tennesseans leaving a refund on the table. The IRS estimates the money could total $12.8 million. "I mean this is your money. We want you to have your money back if you're entitled to it," says Boone.

The IRS updates this information each year, and millions have gone unclaimed. $14 million in 2009, $16 million in 2008, and $17 million in 2007. Nationwide about $760 million in 2010 refunds have gone unpaid, and time is running out. Taxpayers only have three weeks to file.

The IRS does not charge a late filing penalty if you are owed a refund, but you must submit your return by April 15th or the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. "The bottom line, we want you to pay what you owe, no more, no less," says Boone.

Tax filers at the Woodbine Community Center will not be leaving money on the table. They know it is always better when it is in your pocket.

More than 900,000 Americans did not file a 2010 return. Most of them are eligible for a refund. The IRS is much more aggressive at tracking down taxpayers who may owe money.

For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn

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