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Attention Holiday Shoppers: Does the IRS Have a Check Waiting for You? NTU’s Database Can Help!
For Immediate Release November 30, 2009
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
The holiday season has just begun, and nearly 110,000 Americans may have reason to celebrate: They're due a total of almost $125 million in unclaimed tax refunds, and an online, easy-to-use database from the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) can help people locate their money more easily than the IRS's version. This is the ninth year that NTU and its research affiliate's publication Tax Savings Report have sponsored the database, available as a public service at www.ntu.org.
"Whether it's putting something aside for those holiday expenses or saving for a bigger goal like owning a home, many Americans may discover they have an unexpected present waiting for them by visiting www.ntu.org," said NTU Vice President for Policy & Communications Pete Sepp. "Our Tax Refund Finder is a quick and easy way 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. Continuing recent trends, the number of undelivered refunds rose by 16 percent in 2009. The undeliverable refund checks average $1,148 this year, compared to $990 last year.
"Finding an IRS refund is not like Christmas because this money is an overpayment of tax that should have gone back to its rightful owner long ago," Sepp concluded. "Americans shouldn't wait for Santa Claus to get back their hard-earned cash -- NTU's online Tax Refund Finder at www.ntu.org is an essential 'shop' to visit for the holidays."
The NTU database is designed to provide the maximum flexibility of search options (by name, tax year, or state), so users can find refunds (or those of relatives and friends) that may be in limbo because of the problems described above. If they have a refund to claim, the site directs taxpayers to the IRS toll-free number or the IRS's website, 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.
NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, accountability from public officials, and economic freedom at all levels.