Does the government owe you money? Billions of dollars in unclaimed money is just sitting with the Internal Revenue Service waiting for someone to come and claim it. There is unclaimed refund money, money due citizens who paid taxes but did not file the required return to claim what was due them.
There is also money claimed and returned due to a bad address, or someone moving or other situations that caused the check to be return to the IRS.
First, if you would be owned a refund on your taxes you must file a return. If you have unfiled past tax returns and would be due a refund you can lose out on that money. For example, the deadline for filing and claiming any refund for 2006 was April 2010. So
According to the IRS website, some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return. Others may have put it off even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments. When a return is not filed, the law gives most people a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury and it should be returned to the person who earned it.
By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during
past years. In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax
Credit. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain levels with a credit towards their federal taxes due.
If you are in this situation, file a return immediately, even if you can’t pay the amount due. Also, call the IRS and discuss your options, they can be very helpful. Yes, they want you to pay and will get you eventually, but they are also some nice people there who will help you get your affairs in order. You can get all the past year tax forms easily online as well, including tax charts and everything you need to complete your returns.
The other situation, where the IRS has sent a payment which was lost or stolen, is also relatively easy to solve. You need to wait 28 days from when the IRS shows the refund was mailed to you. Then you go to the Where’s My Refund page on the IRS site and fill out the secure information form. It will report back to you with a real time answer as to where the check it. If you don’t have it, you report it lost or stolen right there, and get a replacement. You can also confirm the address so it gets to the right place.