Agency to Return $164 Million in Undelivered Checks
The Internal Revenue Service is looking to return $164.6 million in undelivered refund checks. A total of 111,893 taxpayers are due one or more refund checks that could not be delivered because of mailing address errors. Nearly 2,300 Bay Area taxpayers are due undelivered refunds totaling $2,663,000.
“Our main goal is to help people get the money owed them as quickly as possible,” said IRS spokesman Jesse Weller. “Those who are missing a refund should update their address with the IRS. That’s all that needs to be done in most cases.”
Undelivered refund checks average $1,471 this year, compared to $1,148 last year. Some taxpayers are due more than one check. The average dollar amount for returned refunds rose by just over 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.
The IRS also recommends that taxpayers file their tax returns electronically to minimize errors. However, 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 IRS says taxpayers, when using their computers, should not 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 they have a pending refund is to visit IRS.gov and use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool or call 1-800-829-1954.