Nov 24 2008 -
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that $2.8 million is owed to nearly 4,500 Mississippians. This money is available in the form of economic stimulus checks or 2007 tax refund checks that were undeliverable because of incorrect mailing addresses the IRS has on file for these taxpayers.
During difficult economic times, it is important that these funds be delivered to their intended recipients. All a taxpayer needs to do is update his or her address and the IRS will send out all checks due to them. The IRS has set up a website and telephone numbers to help individuals track down their tax refund and stimulus checks. I strongly urge citizens who have not received their economic stimulus check or tax refund to contact the IRS.
REGULAR TAX REFUNDS
Every year, millions of Americans file their tax returns with the IRS. And every year, the vast majority of checks mailed by the IRS reach their rightful owner. Only a very small percentage of checks are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable. This small percentage, however, amounts to a great deal of money that is intended to be put back in the pockets of taxpayers.
This year, the IRS has been unable to issue tax refunds to more than 800 Mississippians who filed 2007 tax returns. The average return for these individuals is $898 – money that will be sent immediately once these taxpayers update their contact information with the IRS. Individuals can update their mailing address by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available at www.irs.gov. Those without internet access can also update their address and inquire about their refund check by calling 1-800-829-1954.
ECONOMIC STIMULUS CHECKS
Earlier this year, Congress acted in a bipartisan way to provide economic relief to Americans by passing an economic stimulus package that provided eligible taxpayers with a tax rebate of up to $1,200.
Because of incorrect mailing addresses, there are 3,578 Mississippians who have yet to receive their economic stimulus checks – payments that on average total $555. The IRS highly suggests that taxpayers who haven’t received their stimulus checks update their mailing address by November 28, 2008. By law, economic stimulus checks must be mailed by December 31, 2008. Those needing to update their mailing information for stimulus payments should visit the “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?” tool at www.irs.gov, or they can call 1-866-234-2942.
AVOIDING FUTURE PROBLEMS
The IRS says the best method for taxpayers to ensure their tax refunds are delivered without problems or delays in the future is to choose the direct deposit option when filing their tax returns. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into their personal checking or savings account. Direct deposit is safe, reduces errors, speeds up refunds, and is available for filers of both paper and electronic returns. Direct deposit is convenient, but if you prefer having your tax refund checks mailed to you in the future, that will still be an option.
If you have any questions or concerns about the tax filing process, or if you believe you are missing this year’s refund or stimulus check, do not hesitate to contact the IRS or my office at 601-965-4644.