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Q: Tax refunds due to taxpayers ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Tax refunds due to taxpayers
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: notam-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 04 Dec 2002 12:36 PST
Expires: 03 Jan 2003 12:36 PST
Question ID: 119249
Is there a website that you can search a name to see if one is owed a
refund from the government but has not received it due
to change of address or incorrect address?
Subject: Re: Tax refunds due to taxpayers
Answered By: ericynot-ga on 04 Dec 2002 13:44 PST
Good day, notam-ga

The answer to your question is "yes". There are actually a couple of
ways you can go. First is to use a commercial service to do your
search for you. According to the website:

"Last year IRS had 95,500 income tax refund checks totaling $88.5
million -- an average of $927 per taxpayer -- undelivered and
uncashed, mainly due to unreported changes of name and/or address.
This was up from 91,000 refund checks totaling $68.3 million last
year, despite the fact many taxpayers now opt for direct deposit.

In addition, IRS holds a number of refund checks that were delivered
but for one reason or another went uncashed. An estimated $500,000,000
in IRS tax refund checks go uncashed and unpaid every year. As of late
last year IRS also had almost 300,000 undelivered tax rebate (advance
payment) checks worth $95 million.

Taxpayers must request reissue if a tax refund check has been lost,
destroyed or voided due to the passage of time -- US Treasury checks
are generally negotiable one year from the date of issue."

The folks at UnclaimedAssets offer an IRS search for $10.00 (you'll
have to supply personal information to them). They also offer a number
of other asset searches. Here's their site:

Now, if you don't wish to spend the ten bucks, there is another
option. Dateline NBC, through MSNBC, offers a free downloadable
database of unclaimed IRS monies (up to and including year 2001). All
you have to do is download their zip file and open it:

I tried method number 2 myself, but, alas, no pleasant surprise for
me. Hope you have better luck!

Thanks for your question,


Google search: IRS undelivered refund database
Subject: Re: Tax refunds due to taxpayers
From: 4keith-ga on 04 Dec 2002 14:59 PST

The website also has a searchable database--in the search
box, enter the phrase "Where's My Refund" and the link will come up. 
You have to furnish a SSN and other data to do a search, and there are
other instructions listed about what to do to claim it.  Also, the
information for each state's names was distributed to many of the
larger metropolitan city newspapers of the US, and many of them
published the data on their own website.

Good Luck with your search!

Subject: Re: Tax refunds due to taxpayers
From: ericynot-ga on 04 Dec 2002 17:12 PST
4keith is correct about the IRS database, but there is currently a
small problem as this note from that webpage explains:

"NOTE: The "Where's My Refund" application is unavailable. We are
updating our computer files in order to prepare for the upcoming 2003
filing season. "Where's My Refund" will be available again in January,
2003. In the mean time, if you have questions concerning the status of
a refund, please call 1-800-829-1954."

Perhaps they've improved, but my experience in the past when calling
IRS 800 numbers has not been wonderful. I'd still recommend the
Dateline approach for now.

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