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Does the IRS Have a Check Waiting for You? Database at www.ntu.org Helps Find Tax Refunds Fastest

by Pete Sepp / /

(Alexandria, VA) -- The holiday season hasn't officially started yet, but more than 115,000 Americans may have reason to celebrate right now: They're due a total of nearly $110 million in unclaimed tax refunds, and an online database from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) can help people locate their money more easily than the IRS's version. This is the seventh 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 upcoming holiday bills or saving for a bigger goal like college, many Americans may discover they have more money than they thought by checking out 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 a recent trend, the number of undelivered refunds (for tax year 2006) rose by 15 percent in 2007, while the dollar amount went up by 19.5 percent. This jump in unclaimed refunds far outpaces the increase in quantity and monetary total for all refunds issued to the taxpaying population as a whole (4.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively).

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.

"Finding an IRS refund is not like Christmas in November, 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 the first 'shop' to visit for the holidays."

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

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