Tuesday, December 1, 2009

$123.5 million in tax refunds unclaimed

By Bankrate.com
Posted by: Lily Mei

What could you do with $1,148?

Find missing money
That's the average amount of the tax refund checks that were returned in 2009 to the Internal Revenue Service because they were undeliverable.

Whether your unclaimed refund is less or more, any amount would be nice with the holidays just around the corner.

In all, the IRS has 107,831 refund checks totaling $123.5 million in missing money.

The main reason the checks were returned is simple: The taxpayers moved after filing their 2008 tax returns and forgot to give the IRS their new addresses.

In some cases, the addresses on people's tax forms were illegible, causing the checks to be issued to wrong addresses.

Let the IRS know where you live
Whatever the reason, the IRS has money that could be yours. All you have to do is let the agency know where to send it.

The simplest method is to provide your address electronically, via the agency's refund-tracking Web page.

Taxpayers can also call 1-800-829-1954 to check on a refund and receive instructions on how to update an address.

And the IRS still accepts a mailed Form 8822 (.pdf download) for address changes, but this method will take longer.

More from MSN Money and Bankrate.com
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.Tracking down your refund
When using either the Web or phone option, have your 2008 return handy. You'll need to provide your Social Security number, your filing status and the amount of the refund shown on your tax return.

If the money went back to the IRS, you will be prompted to enter your correct mailing information during the tracking process.

However, if you moved and simply want to use the online or phone option to let the IRS know about your new address, you're out of luck. You'll have to use Form 8822 to ensure future refunds make it to your new home.

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