IRS looking to give away money

IRS looking to give away money

The IRS is looking for a few missing taxpayers, but this time it's all good news.

Somewhere in Jackson County, 70 people are waiting for their share of $62,400 of undeliverable tax refunds, with an additional 144 people still waiting for Economic Stimulus Payment checks totaling $73,900.

The checks were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service because of mailing-address errors.

The average undelivered tax refund in the county is $892. The average undelivered stimulus check is $513.

"They sent mine to an address where I haven't lived for three years," said State Rep. Sal Esquivel, perhaps the best-known name on the list recently compiled by the IRS.

"If they had just read my current return they wouldn't have had a problem," he said.

A few weeks ago, Esquivel said, he asked his wife whether they had received their tax refund. She said they hadn't.

"We told our accountant," said Esquivel, "and he said, not only that, you didn't receive your stimulus check either. I didn't think we had qualified for it since we never got it."

When he contacted the IRS, Esquivel was told to expect both checks in the mail in four to eight weeks.

IRS spokesman William Brunson said there likely are many people awaiting both checks, but that kind of information isn't associated in their database.

"There's a disclosure issue," he said. "We're able to provide a named list by zip code and county, but we can't associate a dollar amount or an address."

Taxpayers who have not received their economic stimulus checks must update their addresses with the IRS by Nov. 28.

"The stimulus law does not allow the IRS to issue a check after the end of the year," said Brunson. "If someone gives us an address after Nov. 28, we can't guarantee we can get the check to them in time."

Brunson said taxpayers still have three years to receive the stimulus payment, but after Dec. 31 it would have to be filed as a credit on their 2008 or 2009 tax return.

The easiest way to check the status of refunds or stimulus checks, and at the same time update address information, is to use the "Claim Your Undelivered Tax Refund or Stimulus Check" tool on the IRS Web site,

Taxpayers without Internet access should call 1-866-234-2942 to check on stimulus payments and 1-800-829-1954 to check on tax refunds.

"People across the country are missing tax refunds and stimulus checks," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "We want to get this money into the hands of taxpayers where it belongs."

Undelivered tax refunds in Josephine County total $26,300 and in Klamath County, $2,750.

Stimulus payments awaiting an address total $25,600 in Josephine County and $20,600 in Klamath County.

Statewide, 1,408 refunds totaling $1.3 million were returned to the IRS, while 2,824 stimulus checks were returned, totaling $1.5 million.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at

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