The Internal Revenue Service is looking for more than 4,700 Georgia taxpayers who are due refund checks worth more than a total of $7 million.
The checks were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.
“In Georgia, the average undeliverable refund is $1,522,” said Mark S. Green, IRS spokesman for Georgia. “Last year, the average was $1,233. We’d like to get this money back to taxpayers as quickly as possible. All we need is an updated address and we can reissue the check.”
A taxpayer only needs to update his or her address once for the IRS to send out all checks due. Undeliverable refund check average $1,471 in 2010, compared to $1,148 in 2009. Some taxpayers are due more than one check.
Nationwide, 111,893 refunds totaling $164.6 million were returned to the IRS. The average dollar amount for returned refunds rose by almost 22 percent last year, possibly due to recent changes in tax law that introduced new credits or expanded existing credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Green said refund checks go astray for various reasons. Many times it’s because a life change – such as a marriage or divorce – causes an address change. If a taxpayer moves and does not notify the IRS or Postal Service, a check sent to the last known address is returned to the IRS.
If a refund check is returned to the IRS as undeliverable, taxpayers can generally update their address with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. The tool also enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds. Taxpayers can also use a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.
While only a small percentage of checks mailed out by the IRS are returned as undeliverable, taxpayers can put an end to lost, stolen or undelivered checks by choosing direct deposit when filing either paper or electronic returns.