The Postal Service sent $2 million worth of undelivered tax refunds for 1,231 Queens residents back to the Internal Revenue Service due to mailing address errors.
The checks went to people who have not updated their addressees, said IRS spokesperson Dianne Besunder, adding that the federal government is eager to return the money.
“We want [them] to get this money as soon as possible,” she said.
This year the average refund for New York State taxpayers was $2,471, up from $1,581 last year.
The Queens residents still waiting for their checks are owed on average $1,624.
“People are coming in and saying I didn't get my check,” said Nick Rizzi, the owner of Smart Tax, a tax preparation service with 30 locations- including four in Queens- that serves approximately 30,000 clients each tax season.
But Rizzi said the “snail mail” problem is on it's way out.
“It actually is diminishing as people adopt electronic filing,” he said.
Certified public accountants and the IRS alike are pushing the change. Besunder said the best option is to file online and sign up to receive the refunds via direct deposit.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney urged people to reclaim their refunds.
“If you think you should have gotten a refund check but didn't, please contact the IRS,” Maloney said. “It's your money, don't leave it sitting in a government bank account.”
Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where's my Refund?” tool at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-829-1954.