The IRS claims that refunds totaling just over $917 million may be waiting for an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009. The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds for 2009 exceed $500.

To collect a refund from that year, a return for 2009 must be filed no later than April 15. The law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

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