Wednesday, November 17, 2010

IRS holding $1.53 million in undelivered refund checks to CT taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for 1,013 Connecticut taxpayers who have not yet claimed their share of undelivered refund checks totaling $1.53 million.

These undelivered refund checks were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors. The IRS can reissue the checks, which average $1,517, after taxpayers correct or update their addresses with the IRS.

Nationally, there are 111,893 taxpayers with undelivered refunds, totaling $164.6 million with an average refund of $1,471.

“We want to make sure taxpayers get the money owed to them,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement.  “If you think you are missing a refund, the sooner you update your address information, the quicker you can get your money.”

Gregg Semanick, the IRS Connecticut spokesperson, said taxpayers only need to update the information once for the IRS to send out all checks that are due.  “Some taxpayers are due more than one check,” Semanick said.

Nationwide, undelivered refund checks average $1,471 this year, compared to $1,148 last year. The average dollar amount for returned refunds rose by 28 percent this year, possibly due to recent changes in tax law which introduced new credits or expanded existing credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Taxpayers can generally update their addresses with the online “Where’s My Refund?” tool, where they also can check the status of refunds.

A taxpayer must submit his or her Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2009 return.
Those checking on a refund over the phone will receive instructions on how to update their addresses. Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.

While only a small percentage of checks mailed out by the IRS are returned as undelivered, taxpayers can put an end to lost, stolen or undelivered checks by choosing direct deposit when they file either paper or electronic returns. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into their bank, split a tax refund into two or three financial accounts or even buy a savings bond.

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