“We want to get this money into taxpayers’ hands as quickly as possible,” said Carrie Resch, IRS spokesperson. “If you discover you’re missing a refund, update your address with the IRS. The sooner you do, the quicker you can get your money.”
Some taxpayers are due more than one check. However, a taxpayer only needs to update his or her address once. The IRS will then send out all checks due. Undeliverable refund checks for Minnesotans average $1,009 this year, compared to $778 last year.
Nationally, 107,831 taxpayers are due to receive a combined $124 million in returned refund checks. Those average $1,148 this year, compared to $990 last year.
Average undeliverable refund amounts rose by 16 percent this year, which is in line with the 16 percent rise in average refunds for all tax returns in the latest filing season. Several changes in tax law likely played a role in boosting refunds, including the First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit and the Recovery Rebate Credit, among others.
The vast majority of checks mailed by the IRS each year reach their rightful owner. Only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.
Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. The tool enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds and, in some cases, provides instructions on how to resolve delivery problems. To use “Where’s My Refund?” a taxpayer needs his or her Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2008 return.
Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to choose direct deposit when they file their returns because it puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into personal checking or savings accounts. Direct deposit is available for filers of both paper and electronic returns.
The IRS also encourages taxpayers to file their tax returns electronically because e-file eliminates the risk of lost paper returns. E-file also reduces errors on tax returns and speeds up refunds.
E-file coupled with direct deposit is the best option; it’s easy, fast and secure.