Claim Your Tax Refund

If you worked and made money in the last few years, did not make enough to warrant filing a tax return and therefore didn’t, then the Internal Revenue Service may owe you some money. Every year, the IRS also retains millions of dollars in checks that were returned back to the department due to being undeliverable.

Unclaimed Money: What is it?

If you are owed money by the government and do not redeem this, then it is considered unclaimed. In addition to the IRS, this can occur with pensions, credit unions and other financial sources like banks.

There are a number of reasons why you may need to claim a refund that you never received and has therefore been considered “unclaimed,” “missing” or “lost.” Missing money can originate from a variety of sources, whether it is unclaimed tax refunds on the state or federal level, inactive bank savings, unclaimed proceeds from savings bonds, unclaimed escrow holdings or any other number of financial sources.

Finding Unclaimed Money

At the moment, it is not possible to use a single website by the government in order to find whether or not someone has unclaimed money based on state, social security number or by name. In order to do this, it is required to perform a search through the website for the state in particular; every state offers a website with this feature.

Unclaimed Refunds

It is possible to earn income and have the taxes withheld but not receive a tax return; after all, those who do not file because they made too little will not receive a return. When this happens, it is possible to claim the refund that was withheld from those years that a tax return was not filed. Other workers may instead be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, but it is required to file a return to claim that too.

Collecting this money requires filing a return with the IRS no more than three years past the date for that return. Failing this, the money that is unclaimed will then become the property of the United States Treasury. It is also not necessary to pay any penalty fee for submitting a late return in order to get a refund for taht year.

Undeliverable Funds

Those who were expecting to get a check for a refund but never received it can also reclaim these funds. Checks are sent to the last known address and are returned if you moved without informing either the United States Postal Service or the IRS.

It is often possible to inform the IRS of your new address through the “Where’s My Refund?” feature on the website. Provide your updated address to the department if you have a check that needs to be delivered from the last 12 months. Filing Form 8822, Change of Address, is also an option to guarantee that the IRS has the new and correct address.

Those who lack any access to the Internet who believe they did not receive a refund that they were owed should speak with a tax accountant and verify their records first. If there appears to be no issue with the refund information, confirm your address and verify the refund status by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Avoiding Scams

When it comes to any kind of promised money, it is important to avoid scams. Several have come up that claim missing money to those who are not really eligible for any. The scammers will contact individuals and claim there is money to be claimed, offering a paid service in order to reclaim the funds.

After submitting a finder’s or locator fee in exchange for the funds, the scammers will disappear. Note there is zero reason to get a third party involved for claiming funds, especially since each and every state offers the service for free.

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