Unclaimed Tax Refunds! Does the Government Owe You Money?

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has millions of dollars in tax refunds that go undelivered or unclaimed. The best and fastest way to get your tax refund is to have it electronically deposited for free into your financial account.

The IRS program is called direct deposit. You can use it to deposit your refund into one, two, or even three accounts. Data collected by the IRS say that eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using Direct Deposit.

They assure that it is simple, safe, and secure. This is the same electronic transfer system used to deposit nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.

However, according to the usa.gov website, refund checks are mailed to your last known address. If you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), your refund check may be returned to the IRS.

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If you were expecting a federal tax refund and did not receive it, check the IRS’ Where’s My Refund page. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. You may be prompted to change your address online.

You can also call the IRS to check on the status of your refund. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long, but you can avoid waiting by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.

If you move or have recently moved, submit a Change of Address – Form 8822 (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) to the IRS; you should also submit a Change of Address to the USPS.

If you are eligible for a federal tax refund and don’t file a return, then your refund will go unclaimed. Even if you aren’t required to file a return, it might benefit you to file if federal taxes were withheld from your pay and/or you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

You may not have filed a tax return because your wages were below the filing requirement, but you can still file a return within three years of the filing deadline to get your refund.

The IRS also wants to remind you that they don’t initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail, social media, or phone informing taxpayers of pending tax refunds and asking for personal information. Avoid giving out very personal information, so you don’t risk getting scammed.

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