City taxpayers owed millions in unclaimed refunds
by Heather Senison
Dec 14, 2011 | 3042 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senator Chuck Schumer revealed last week that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owes more than 3,400 New Yorkers in all five boroughs tax refunds undelivered due to mailing address errors.

The average refund citywide is $1,780, making for a total of $8.46 million in outstanding refunds. In Brooklyn 1,043 taxpayers are owed an average of $1,553 each in refunds. In Queens, 1,026 are owed roughly $1,677 each, according to Schumer's office.

Schumer added a link to his Web site, Schumer.senate.gov, that connects users to the “Where's my refund?” tool on the IRS site. The tool allows users to change their address, receive their refund and informs on how to change an address in the future. The IRS can also be reached by phone at 1-800-829-1954.

According to Schumer's office, taxpayers who check their refund status online receive an update in 72 hours and their refund in three to four weeks. Individuals must enter their Social Security number and filing status to obtain a refund, but his office assures that the site is secure.

“It's as if there are over 3,400 presents just sitting at the North Pole waiting to get to New York City families,” Schumer said in a statement. “All you have to do is go online, see if you're on the list and update your personal information to make sure the refund ends up under the right tree in time for the holidays.”

Throughout the state, 7,256 taxpayers are owed an average of $2,023 each, with a statewide total at more than $14.5 million. Nationally, the IRS owes nearly 100,000 taxpayers roughly $153.3 million in tax refunds, according to his office.

Refund checks are mailed to a taxpayer's last known mailing address and are presumably returned to the IRS if the individual no longer resides there.

“Especially during these tough times,” Schumer said, “an average refund of about $2,000 is real money, and could provide a nice boost to the economy this shopping season.”

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