Thousands of Americans are owed money, which could make for an unexpected New Year’s Bonus! Information released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirms that the agency is currently holding $123.5 million in unclaimed refund checks. The money is from 107,831 income tax refund checks that were returned to the IRS in 2009 due to incorrect mailing addresses.

If you are one of the taxpayers who did not receive your expected refund, contact the IRS immediately with proof of current address. Call the IRS Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954 or access the “Where’s My Refund?” page on the IRS website (www.irs.gov) to check on your refund status. Using your 2008 tax return, provide your Social Security number, filing status and the amount of the refund shown on the return.

If the refund was returned to the IRS, you can still receive it by updating your address. To prevent the possibility of this happening to you again, considering choosing to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, rather than mailed to you as a check. Not only does this remove the risk of a lost check, it also gives the taxpayer a more secure, convenient way to access the funds.

Remember, a missing refund check can be a significant amount of money. Make sure you got the refund you were entitled to last year.

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