IRS seeking 27 persons in Ascension for refunds

Staff reports

NEW ORLEANS – The Internal Revenue Service is looking for taxpayers throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, including 27 persons in Ascension Parish, who have not received part of a combined $2.39 million in 2,445 tax refund checks.

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

“All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once and the IRS will then send out all checks due,” said IRS spokesperson Dee Harris.

The Ascension Parish refund checks average $1,784, totaling $48,174.

Six persons are due a refund in Iberville Parish.

In Livingston Parish, 35 persons are due refunds averaging $581.

East Baton Rouge Parish leads 61 state parishes with 221 persons due refund checks totaling $383,374.

Almost 1,500 Louisianans did not receive their refund checks totaling over $1.6 million. The average undelivered refund for Louisiana is $1,080.

In Mississippi, 951 individuals did not receive their refund checks totaling over $781 thousand. The average undelivered refund for Mississippi is $822.

Average undeliverable refunds rose by 16 percent this year, which is in line with the 16 percent rise in average refunds for all tax returns in the latest filing season. Several changes in tax law likely played a role in boosting refunds, including the First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit and the Recovery Rebate Credit, among others.

The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS each year reach rightful owners, according to the IRS. Only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.

Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov.

The tool enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds. A taxpayer must submit his or her social security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2008 return. The tool will provide the status of their refund and in some cases provide instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.

Taxpayers checking on a refund over the phone will be given instructions on how to update their addresses. Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to choose direct deposit when they file their returns because it puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into personal checking or savings accounts. Direct deposit is available for filers of both paper and electronic returns.

The IRS also encourages taxpayers to file their tax returns electronically because e-file eliminates the risk of lost paper returns. E-file also reduces errors on tax returns and speeds up refunds.