Yes! You (they) must file a tax return to get the money. There is usually no penalty for failure to file, if you are due a refund. But, if you wait too long to file a return or otherwise claim a refund, you risk losing your refund altogether. And they need to indicate on their returns that they can be claimed as a dependent.
In most cases, an original return claiming a refund must be filed within three years of its due date for the IRS to issue a refund. Generally, after the three-year window closes, the IRS can neither send a refund for the specific tax year. nor apply any credits, including overpayments of estimated or withholding taxes, to other tax years that are underpaid.
Here, you’ll find the right TurboTax product to file tax returns for a prior year.
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Hi, Thank you! The link to the TurboTax products that are somewhat costly (given the small potential refund). Can we use the "Freedom" edition which is completely free, for these prior year filings?
Sorry, no. All the online versions of Turbotax only prepare the current tax season.
I recommend downloading the IRS forms and instructions and preparing the returns by hand. If your children's income is only from working, and all they are doing is filing to claim a refund of their tax withholding, their returns should be very simple. Less complicated than high school math class and also a good civics lesson. You would just need the 1040 and instructions.
You can similarly download your state tax forms from your state tax web site.
If using Turbotax downloaded to your computer, the cheapest version available is Deluxe at $80, but one copy installed on your computer can prepare more than one return.