People who are thinking about skipping out on their obligation to file a return this year may want to reconsider, especially when weighing the size of the returns they may be passing up.

According to a recent announcement from the Internal Revenue Service, nearly $1.3 billion in unclaimed refunds from the 2006 filing season are still waiting to be distributed to an estimated 1.4 million taxpayers who never ended up filling out returns.

The IRS noted that people must file a return for the 2006 tax year by April 15, 2010 and that the average unclaimed refund stands at $604. If a return is not filed in order to claim a refund within three years, that money ends up as the property of the United States Treasury.

Another thing for taxpayers to remember is that their returns from 2006 will end up being held or applied to balances owed if they also failed to file returns for 2007 or 2008.

In late 2009, the IRS announced that the penalty for failing to file an income tax return had increased somewhat. For those who file more than 60 days after the due date, including extensions, the penalty is now either $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is smaller.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.