irs owes taxpayers millions in refundsAre you still waiting for your tax refund from last year?  You are not alone.  According to information appearing on the IRS website dated November 17, 2010, almost 112,000 taxpayers have not received their tax refund checks.  The IRS knows this because $164.6 million in refund checks have been returned to the government as a result of mailing address errors.

If you are one of the 111,893 taxpayers still waiting for your income tax refund, you can track down your tax refund by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1954 or by using an online tool called “Where’s My Refund.”  Taxpayers will be asked to provide or enter personal information to check the status of their missing refund.  Have the following information available before attempting to check the status of your refund check; your social security number, filing status and the amount of the refund as shown on the 2009 income tax return.  After this information has been supplied,  the “Where’s My Refund” tool or IRS representative can search for your income tax refund and assist as to what actions must take place to receive your refund.  If the tax refund is one of the thousands returned to the IRS as undeliverable, the taxpayer will have to provide a correct mailing address in order to have their refund mailed out again.

As stated on IRS.gov, “A taxpayer only needs to update his or her address once for the IRS to send out all checks due. Undelivered refund checks average $1,471 this year, compared to $1,148 last year. Some taxpayers are due more than one check.”

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman stated, “We want to make sure taxpayers get the money owed to them.  If you think you are missing a refund, the sooner you update your address information, the quicker you can get your money.”

Remember tax return refund typically have a 3-year statute of limitations.

How to expedite receipt of tax refunds

The IRS reminds taxpayers that by choosing direct deposit of tax refunds the issue of missing, lost or undelivered tax refunds is eliminated.  When filing your tax return, you can opt for direct deposit which is not only faster but also more secure in that your refund is deposited directly into the bank account of your choice.  You may even split your return to have it deposited into more than one account.  By choosing direct deposit, there is no paper check to track.

Another suggestion from the IRS is that filers who are submitting tax returns which are eligible for electronic filing (e-file) should do so.  Again, this option is more secure and efficient in that there is no chance of an electronic return getting lost or misplaced.  When you combine electronic filing with direct deposit, you can expedite the entire filing process.

Be wary of tax scams

A final piece of advice from the IRS.  Do not open any emails which claim to be from the IRS regarding tax returns or refunds.  The IRS DOES NOT contact individuals via email; therefore any correspondence of this nature should be considered a tax scam to gain access to your personal information.