BIRMINGHAM — The Internal Revenue Service is looking for Alabamians who are due to receive a combined $1.85 million in the form of 1,571 refund checks that were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.
“IRS wants to get these checks to their owners as quickly as possible,” said IRS spokesman Dan Boone. “All you have to do is update your address to get your refund check reissued.”
All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once. The IRS will then send out all checks due. Undeliverable refund checks average $1,183 this year in Alabama. Some taxpayers are due more than one check.
Nationwide, the IRS wants to reissue nearly 108,000 checks worth more than $123 million. The average check is worth $1,148.
Average undeliverable refunds rose by 16 percent this year, which is in line with the 16 percent rise in average refunds for all tax returns in the latest filing season. Several changes in tax law likely played a role in boosting refunds, including the First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit and the Recovery Rebate Credit, among others.
The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS each year reach their rightful owner. Only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.
Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. The tool 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 2008 return. The tool will provide the status of their refund and in some cases provide instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.
Taxpayers checking on a refund over the phone will be given instructions on how to update their addresses. Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to choose direct deposit when they file their returns because it puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into personal checking or savings accounts. Direct deposit is available for filers of both paper and electronic returns.
The IRS also encourages taxpayers to 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 coupled with direct deposit is your best option; it’s easy, fast and secure.