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Press Release

Do You Have an Unclaimed Tax Refund from the IRS? Easy-to-Use Database at Helps You Find Out Fast!

November 19, 2010

     (Alexandria, VA) – Whether they’re looking for holiday shopping cash on Black Friday or some extra money to get the family budget out of the red, Americans might find a little “green” waiting for them in the form of an unclaimed tax refund – and a consumer-friendly database from the nonprofit National Taxpayers Union (NTU) is ready to help. NTU has compiled information on nearly $165 million of undelivered federal tax refund checks on a searchable webpage that can help people locate their money even more easily than the IRS’s online version. This is the 10th year NTU and its research affiliate have sponsored the database, available as a public service at

(Click Here to go to the Refund Finder.)

     “In an unpredictable economy like this, just about anyone could use a little more financial certainty, and getting the tax refund they were originally due can help in a big way,” said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Our Tax Refund Finder at is the first, fastest step to see if the IRS owes you money.”

     Each year, thousands of income tax refund checks are returned to the IRS as undeliverable because the taxpayer has moved, changed his or her name, or simply because the check has an incomplete or improper address. Despite increases in electronic filing and direct deposit options, the number and amount of unclaimed refunds have risen, perhaps due to recent changes in the tax laws. Nearly 112,000 taxpayers have one or several checks coming to them this year, a slight uptick of about 2 percent compared to 2009. However, the average value of each check is $1,471, a 28 percent jump from last year.

     The NTU database is designed to provide the maximum flexibility of search options (by name, tax year, or state), so users can find refunds that may be in limbo because of the problems described above. If they have a refund to claim, taxpayers are directed to the IRS’s website or toll-free number, where they can securely arrange to receive their money. Although the IRS’s website also has an interactive refund feature, the agency requires taxpayers to provide information that makes it difficult to use for citizens who aren’t sure whether they have a refund coming, or who can’t remember how much it might be. And, NTU’s database allows users to check on whether refunds might be available for friends or loved ones (who would in turn need to follow up with the IRS).

     “Americans who find a ‘lost’ tax refund might think they’ve received an unexpected holiday gift, but they should remember this is an overpayment they made to the IRS,” Sepp concluded. “NTU believes this money should be returned to its rightful owners as quickly as possible, and our Tax Refund Finder is the handiest tool for the job.”

The 362,000-member NTU was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and taxpayer rights at all levels.