Usually when the IRS starts tracking people down, it’s because Uncle Sam is owed some money. But for 100,000 Americans somewhere out there, the IRS is trying to return $153 million.
Due to mailing address errors, 99,123 refund checks worth $153.3 million have yet to be delivered to taxpayers who filed returns this year. The problems are generally for those who either didn’t use direct deposit (around 78 million Americans used direct deposit last year) or still file paper returns. Direct deposit into a bank account eliminates the IRS putting a check in the mail, and electronic filing often cuts down on errors and gets taxpayers their money back much more quickly.
But because some of us still use the more traditional way of filing, the IRS has almost 100,000 undeliverable checks on its hands, averaging out to $1,547 a piece.
If you think the government owes you some greenbacks, go to the IRS website and click on the “Undelivered Refunds” section, or call (800) 829-1954.
It’s also worth knowing that scammers often pose as IRS agents. The IRS says it doesn’t contact people via e-mail, so if you receive a message on behalf of “Uncle Sam,” it’s probably a phishing scam.