As We See It

Millions in undelivered tax returns remain with IRS due to ‘mailing address errors’

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Santa might have you on his list, but the IRS might not …
Kristian Hammerstad

Thirteen. That’s how many times I’ve moved in my life. And whether I notify them or not, a few special friends can always be counted on to find me: Santa Claus, creditors and the Lands End catalog (you buy one sweater and you’re marked for life). It wouldn’t strike me as odd if the Internal Revenue Service fell into the same category, but instead, the IRS has to send out a release every year notifying the public that many dollars are sitting in the federal piggy bank waiting to be reunited with their rightful owners. We’re talking millions in undelivered tax returns due to “mailing address errors.” I can see moving and accidentally forgetting to tell the creepy guy next door, but most people file an official change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service, especially if they know $1,547 is coming to them. That’s the average refund amount owed to nearly 100,000 Americans, including $2.4 million owed to 1,300 people who at one point lived in Clark County. Whether they moved to North Dakota (for work) and forgot to leave a bread-crumb trail or wrote the wrong apartment number on the envelope, it’s kind of amazing that the IRS is having so much trouble finding them. It has its own criminal investigation unit, which manages to track even the most determined evaders. Maybe the creepy guy works there ...

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