The IRS may have some money for you.
The agency estimates that it owes more than $21 million in refunds to more than 26,000 N.C. residents who didn't file a federal income tax return for 2009. The agency estimates that about half of those people would receive refunds for more than $500.
To get that refund, however, you'll have to file a federal income return by April 15. The law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window for claiming a refund. If the return isn't filed after that time period, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.
There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund. However, your refund may be held if you haven't filed returns for 2010 or 2011. It could also be used to offset any back taxes you owe the federal or state government of federal debt such as student loans.
Tax forms for previous years are available on the "forms and publications page" at IRS.gov or by calling 800-829-3676. If you don't have W-2 forms or forms that you need from banks or other payers, you can request them from the individual companies. Or you can get a free transcript showing information from those year-end documents by filing Form 4506-T, which is Request for Transcript of Tax Return, also available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-829-1040 and requesting the form.