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Press Release


Is a “Lost” Tax Refund Waiting for You?
Easy-to-Use Database at ntu.org Helps You Find Out Fast!

For Immediate Release January 9, 2012
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

(Alexandria, VA) – Whether it’s to help pay holiday bills or help start investment plans for the New Year, a little extra cash right now could mean a lot. That’s why it really can pay to check out the online Tax Refund Finder, provided as a free public service on the National Taxpayers Union’s (NTU’s) website at www.ntu.org. This is the 11th year NTU has maintained the consumer-friendly database, designed to be a quicker and easier way to obtain basic information on an undelivered tax refund than the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) version.

“Hard-working Americans should claim every dollar of a tax refund they’re legally due,” said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Our database at www.ntu.org is a handy tool for tracking down any ‘missing’ money that may be waiting for them at the IRS.”

Despite increases in electronic filing and direct deposit options, each year thousands of federal 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. Over 99,000 taxpayers have checks coming to them from 2011, a decline of more than 11 percent compared to the number of refunds that were issued in 2010. However, the average value of each check is $1,547, roughly a 5 percent jump versus 2010.

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 challenging 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).

“An undelivered tax refund may be ‘found money’ but it certainly isn’t ‘free money,’” Sepp concluded. “A check from the IRS represents an overpayment that someone has made to the U.S. government. NTU’s Refund Finder is dedicated to making sure these overpayments get back to where they belong – in the hands of taxpayers.”

The 362,000-member NTU was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and taxpayer rights at all levels. Note: The Refund Finder is available at www.ntu.org. The database may be accessed directly by going to www.ntu.org/tax-basics and clicking on the “Does the IRS Owe You Money?” icon.