HOUSTON — The Internal Revenue Service is looking for Texas taxpayers who are missing more than 30,700 economic stimulus checks totaling more than $19 million and more than 9,000 regular refund checks totaling more than $8 million that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.
Nationwide, more than 279,000 economic stimulus checks totaling about $163 million and more than 104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million were returned to the IRS.
“Just a simple address update will allow the IRS to get this money into the hands of its owners,” said IRS spokesperson Lea Crusberg.
All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once. The IRS will then send out all checks due.
Stimulus Checks - It is crucial that taxpayers who may be due a stimulus check update their addresses with the IRS by November 28, 2008. By law, economic stimulus checks must be sent out by December 31 of this year. The undeliverable economic stimulus checks average $583.
The “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?” tool on IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest way for a taxpayer to check the status of a stimulus check and receive instructions on how to update his or her address. Taxpayers without internet access should call 1-866-234-2942.
Regular Refunds - The regular refund checks that were returned to the IRS average $897 in Texas. These checks are present as soon as taxpayers update their address.
Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. It 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 2007 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.
Unsure? - Taxpayers not sure of which type of check they may be due should check on a potential economic stimulus check first because of the looming deadline. See instructions above.
For Most People - 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.
Through September 2008, the government distributed 116 million economic stimulus payments with only about 279,000 checks being undeliverable. Meanwhile, the IRS has distributed more than 105 million regular refunds this year with only about 104,000 being undeliverable. In both cases, well under one percent of refunds or stimulus checks were undeliverable.
Avoiding Future Problems - The IRS encourages taxpayers to choose direct deposit when they file their return 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 and speeds up refunds.
The following is a list from the IRS of taxpayers in Blanco and surrounding cities who have undelivered checks.
Blanco: Randy Bolgren, Carl Bragg, Tami Byars, Jeremiah Friar, Louis Garcia, Rufus Martinez, Jasper McClellan, Mary & E Cortez McElvaney, Norma Morgan, Imogene Reynold, JR Romero, Ricky and Victoria Simmons, Betty Starry
Johnson City: John Davis, Jeffery Hunter, Simona Salas, Scott Szabo, Francisco Villagrana
Round Mountain: Jesse Fry
Wimberley: George Biehl Jr, John Carroll and Tracy Staton, Devin Casteel, Pamela Hunter, Salvador Jimenez, Ronnie Kitchens, Rex Mounger, Stacy and Marilyn Mueller. Elizabeth Pearl, Colt Treybig, Kyle Walsh
Dripping Springs: Alejandro Campos-Schmitt, Grace Coker, Josh Farmer, Mark Green, Hadra Hoge, Mark and Mary Jessen, Crecencio and Blanca Juarez, Pedro and Irasema Macias, Margarita Martinez Cruz, Garrett Navarro, Mark Prouty, Tessa Williamson
Canyon Lake: Michael Barnard, Donald Brown, Ryan Crouch, Samuel and Pat Gillespie, Derek Guffey, Ofelia Gutierrez, James and JoAnn Hackney, Brian Holden, Jesse Logan, Robin Lotman, Kimberley Moore, Renee Parsons, Brenda Peak, Arturo and Irene Salinas, Dale and Yvonne Schneider, Reiko Sikes, Rachael Skinner, Matt Spear, Amie Turner
Spring Branch and Bulverde: Walter Becker, Ashley Cherry, Nico Huykman, Andrew Johnson, Howard Johnson, Jung Lee, Mary Montgomery, Randy and Rhonda Morrow, Gloria Navarro, Heather Tripp, David Wassermann