MOUNTAINSIDE – The Internal Revenue Service is looking for 3,198 New Jersey taxpayers who can claim their share of undelivered refund checks totaling $6.97 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 $2,181 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,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “If you think you are missing a refund, the sooner you update your address information, the quicker you can get your money.”
To find out if the IRS has a refund check, check this list (Microsoft Excel format)
“A taxpayer only needs to update his or her address once for the IRS to send out all checks due’” said Gregg Semanick, IRS New Jersey Spokesperson. “Some taxpayers are due more than one check.”
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.
If a refund check is returned to the IRS as undelivered, taxpayers can generally update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. The tool also enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds. A taxpayer must submit his or her Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2009 return. The tool will provide the status of their refund and, in some cases, instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.
Taxpayers 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.
The IRS also recommends that taxpayers file their tax returns electronically, because e-file eliminates the risk of lost paper returns. E-file also reduces errors on tax returns and speeds up refunds. E-file combined with direct deposit is the best option for taxpayers; it’s easy, fast and safe.
The public should be aware that the IRS does not contact taxpayers by e-mail to alert them of pending refunds and that such messages are common identity theft scams. The agency urges taxpayers not to release any personal information, reply, open any attachments or click on any links to avoid malicious code that will infect their computers. The best way for an individual to verify if she or he has a pending refund is going directly to IRS.gov and using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.
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