(Alexandria,VA) – Whether they’re looking for holiday shopping cash on Black Friday or someextra money to get the family budget out of the red, Americans might find alittle “green” waiting for them in the form of an unclaimed tax refund – and aconsumer-friendly database from the nonprofit National Taxpayers Union (NTU) isready to help. NTU has compiled information on nearly $165 million ofundelivered federal tax refund checks on a searchable webpage that can helppeople locate their money even more easily than the IRS’s online version. Thisis the 10th year NTU and its research affiliate have sponsored thedatabase, available as a public service at www.ntu.org.
(Click Here to go to the Refund Finder.)
“Inan unpredictable economy like this, just about anyone could use a little morefinancial certainty, and getting the tax refund they were originally due canhelp in a big way,” said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Our TaxRefund Finder at www.ntu.org is the first, fastest step to see if the IRS owes youmoney.”
Each year, thousands of income tax refund checks arereturned to the IRS as undeliverable because the taxpayer has moved, changedhis or her name, or simply because the check has an incomplete or improperaddress. Despite increases in electronic filing and direct deposit options, thenumber and amount of unclaimed refunds have risen, perhaps due to recentchanges in the tax laws. Nearly 112,000 taxpayers have one or several checkscoming 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 lastyear.
The NTU database is designed to provide the maximumflexibility of search options (by name, tax year, or state), so users can findrefunds that may be in limbo because of the problems described above. If theyhave a refund to claim, taxpayers are directed to the IRS’s website ortoll-free number, where they can securely arrange to receive their money.Although the IRS’s website also has an interactive refund feature, the agencyrequires taxpayers to provide information that makes it difficult to use forcitizens who aren’t sure whether they have a refund coming, or who can’tremember how much it might be. And, NTU’s database allows users to check onwhether refunds might be available for friends or loved ones (who would in turnneed to follow up with the IRS).
“Americans who find a ‘lost’ tax refund might thinkthey’ve received an unexpected holiday gift, but they should remember this isan overpayment they made to the IRS,” Sepp concluded. “NTU believes this moneyshould be returned to its rightful owners as quickly as possible, and our TaxRefund Finder is the handiest tool for the job.”
The362,000-member NTU was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government,and taxpayer rights at all levels.