$26 million in tax refunds remain unclaimed by Colorado tax payers

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT/KKCO) -- If you didn't file a federal tax return in 2015, you may be one of more than 23,000 people in Colorado who is missing out on claiming a refund.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, most often students and part-time workers overlook filing their taxes, and lose out on refunds they’re owed.

This year the unclaimed refunds total up to more than $26 million.

The federal government does not penalize late filing when a refund is owed, and offers a three year grace period before those dollars are absorbed back into the U.S. Treasury.

Still, your days to file a 2015 return are numbered. You can only claim a missed refund until midnight on April 15, by filling out a 2015 tax form.

“By failing to file a tax return people stand to lose more than just the refund." IRS Spokesperson Karen Connelly said, "A lot of people, many low to moderate income workers, could be eligible for the earned income tax credit which for 2015 could worth as much as $6,242."

If you haven't filed taxes at all in the last three years, after completing the 2015 return alone, you still might not be eligible to receive a check.