Medicine today: A man and his dog
States have money for you, too

Are you missing some tax money?

More than 115,000 taxpayers have essentially said "no thanks" to Uncle Sam's efforts to give them back some money.

The IRS says it still has around $110 million in refund checks that were returned as undeliverable. The checks, which belong to 115,478 filers, average about $953.

A refund check is typically returned as undeliverable when a taxpayer moves without updating his or her address with either the U.S. Postal Service or the IRS. Sometimes, the address is correct on the return, it's just illegible. That's right; your crummy penmanship could be costing you real money!

As soon as the IRS gets word from a refund's rightful owner, the agency will send the money along to the correct address.

That correction could come next year, when the taxpayer sends in a 2007 return with his or her correct mailing information. But why wait?

I don't know about you, but I sure could use $900-plus, especially with the holidays fast approaching.

Wheres_my_refund Online refund tracking: If you think some of that money earning interest for the federal government could be yours, you can use the IRS' Where's My Refund online tracking tool.

Just go to the official refund Web page, and have last year's 1040 handy. You'll be asked to type in your Social Security number, filing status and the refund amount that was listed on your previous return.

Once that's entered, you'll be told the status of your missing money. Where there are delivery problems, the program will give you instructions on how to resolve them.

Then, in four to six weeks, your delayed refund should be in your mailbox. Of course, says the IRS, you could prevent snail mail issues entirely by having future refunds deposited directly in up to three financial accounts. Details on that option here.

Keeping the IRS informed: Remember, when you move, make sure the IRS knows where to send your refunds.

Even if you don't have to check on a refund, you still can use the Where's My Refund feature to update your mailing information. Or you can do so the old-fashioned way by mailing Form 8822, Change of Address, to the IRS.

And just in case you want to hear the IRS refund tracking advice straight from an official spokesman, the agency has posted this information in MP3 form here.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.