IRS: GA owes taxpayers $5 Million - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

IRS: GA owes taxpayers $5 Million

Press Release

ATLANTA - The Internal Revenue Service is looking for 4,200 Georgia taxpayers who are due refund checks worth more than $5 million. The checks were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.

"In Georgia, the average undeliverable refund is $1,233", said Mark S. Green, IRS spokesman for Georgia. "Last year, the average was $1,036.  We'd like to get this money back to taxpayers as quickly as possible. All we need is an updated address and we can reissue the check."

Nationwide, 107,831 refunds totaling $123.5 million were returned to the IRS. Undeliverable refund checks average $1,148 this year, compared to $990 last year. Some taxpayers are due more than one check.

Average undeliverable refunds rose by 16 percent this year nationwide. Several changes in tax law likely played a role in boosting refunds, including the First-Time Homebuyer's Credit and the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Taxpayers can find out if they are due a tax refund by visiting the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov and clicking on "Where's My Refund." To use this feature, enter information from the 2008 tax return including the Social Security number, filing status and refund amount. Taxpayers will get the status of their refund check and in some cases also get instructions to resolve potential account problems.

Taxpayers can also check on the status of the refund by calling 1-800-829-1954. Taxpayers checking on a refund by phone will be given instructions on how to update their address.

Green said refund checks go astray for reasons that vary with each taxpayer. Many times it's because a life change - such as a marriage or divorce - causes an address change. If a taxpayer moves and does not notify the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service, a check sent to their last known address is returned to the IRS.

After moving, taxpayers can ensure the IRS has their correct address by filing Form 8822, Change of Address, with the IRS. The form is available on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-829-3676.

The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS reach their rightful owner every year. Only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.

Green said taxpayers can avoid undeliverable tax refunds by choosing to have their refunds deposited directly into a bank account. Direct deposit guards against undelivered, lost or stolen refund checks. It's available for both paper and e-filed returns.

IRS also encourages taxpayers to e-file their tax returns. E-file reduces errors and speeds up refunds.

Source: IRS.gov

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