Nondelivered refunds waiting to be mailed

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About $9,075 worth of tax- refund checks and advance child- tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service is waiting to be claimed by Steamboat Springs area residents.

Checks for 16 individuals and couples were returned to the IRS because they were nondeliverable this year, said Jean Carl, spokesperson for the IRS.

Checks may be nondeliverable for a variety of reasons, such as an unreported address change or a handwritten application with a hard-to-read address, she said.

The situation is not atypical across Colorado. The IRS has money for almost 3,900 Colorado taxpayers whose income tax refund or advance child-tax credit checks were returned to the agency not delivered, Carl said.

Of those nondelivered checks, there were about 1,700 refund checks totaling almost $1.4 million, an average of about $790 per check.

The remaining nondelivered 2,200 checks were for the advance child-tax credit. To get the advance payment for this year, taxpayers must update their addresses before Dec. 5.

Missing that deadline won't mean that taxpayers miss their credit, as they can claim the credit when they return their 2003 tax return.

Similarly, residents always can claim nondelivered refund checks because those values stay on their records, Carl said.

People can track their refunds and advance child-tax credits simply by taking a quick look online, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said.

"Our Web site makes it easy for taxpayers to track undelivered checks," Everson said. "Our goal is to get this money back in the hands of the people it belongs to, and we want to get the checks out as soon as possible."

On the IRS Web site, taxpayers can get information on the refund and credit and get the instructions they need to resolve problems.

Taxpayers without access to the Internet also can call the IRS toll-free assistance line to update their address.

Carl recommends that taxpayers allow the IRS to deposit their refunds directly into their bank accounts.

"It's so much more convenient for everybody," she said.

To track a refund check, go to www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.

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