The Internal Revenue Service is having trouble locating people in Texas who overpaid taxes. The power of the IRS to send out refunds diminishes when taxpayers move without letting the government know where they have gone.
The government tax agency, which regularly makes headlines for imposing penalties, interest and tax liens, has $10 million of tax refunds this year that were not connected with their owners through the U.S. Postal Service. The average unclaimed refund is about $1,200.
More than 8,400 Texans have refunds waiting for them at the IRS. Checks bounce back to the agency if refunds fail to reac h an owner by mail. The IRS is saying lost refunds by mail can be avoided when taxpayers use the online e-file system. Almost 80 percent of taxpayers e-file. The agency says e-filing minimizes errors and speeds up refund processing.
The online system also gives taxpayers the option of using direct deposit to link refunds to up to three bank accounts. Refunds can be funneled into one account or split among different accounts. The system also allows taxpayers the chance to purchase U.S. savings bonds with refund money.
Taxpayers who suspect they are still owed a refund can call the IRS for help or take advantage of a tracking tool called “Where’s My Refund?” The tool is offered through a telephone version and through the agency’s website.
Additionally if a person is having trouble securing a refund that they are owed even though they have followed all the IRS’ instructions, it may be necessary to contact an experienced tax attorney, who understands the complexities of the tax code.
Source: Laredo Sun, “IRS Seeks to Return More Than $10 Million in Checks to Taxpayers in Texas,” Dec. 5, 2011