We would like to congratulate everyone who received a refund in their bank or card up until this point. We have been getting multiple reports that some taxpayer tax refunds never hit their cards or banks. If you never received your tax refund after seeing a scheduled message here are a couple thing to remember.

Returned Tax Refund Checks and Bounced Bank Deposits

What would you do with an extra $3,116?

$3,116 is the average dollar amount of IRS Tax Refund checks that were returned to the IRS in 2016 because they were undeliverable. Each year there are millions of dollars of refund checks that are undelivered due to incorrect mailing addresses or wrong bank account numbers.

What if you moved or changed bank accounts since you filed your tax return and the IRS does not have your new mailing address or new bank account number? Here is what you need to update this information.

How do I claim my missing refund check?

  1. If your refund check was returned to the IRS, you might be able to change your address online via the IRS website.
  2. Call 1-800-829-1040 to verify your mailing address or your bank account.
  3. If you can’t update your mailing address online, download and mail Form 8822 to the address listed on the tax form.
  4. Next time, efile your taxes and sign up for direct deposit. It is more accurate, and you get your refund faster!

I requested a direct deposit refund. Why are you mailing it to me as a paper check?

There are three possible reasons

  • IRS can only deposit refunds electronically into accounts in your own name, your spouse’s name or in a joint account.
  • A financial institution may reject a direct deposit.
  • IRS can’t deposit more than three electronic refunds into a single financial account.

Why is my refund different than the amount on the tax return I filed?

All or part of your refund may have been (offset) used to pay off past-due debts

  • state or federal taxes you owe
  • a defaulted student, SBA, or other federal government loans
  • delinquent child support
  • a public benefit overpayment (such as HUD, VA, or Social Security).

To find out if you may have an offset or if you have questions about an offset, contact the agency to which you owe the debt.

IRS may also have changed your refund amount because they made changes to your tax return. You’ll get a notice explaining the changes. Where’s My Refund? will reflect the reasons for the refund offset when it relates to a change in your tax return.

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Tax Topic 203 – Refund Offsets for Unpaid Child Support, Certain Federal and State Debts, and Unemployment Compensation Debts has more information about refund offsets.

What should I do when the refund I receive is not from my tax account?

Please don’t cash the refund check or spend the direct deposit refund. Send the refund back to us. Tax Topic 161 – Returning an Erroneous Refund – Paper Check or Direct Deposit has more information on what to do.

If you never get a refund, it may have been intercepted to pay any of the following:

  • state or federal taxes you owe
  • a defaulted student, SBA, or other federal government loans
  • delinquent child support
  • a public benefit overpayment (such as HUD, VA, or Social Security).

In these situations, you are supposed to be notified in writing, but don’t count on it.

Remember If you filed your return on or before April 15 and don’t receive your refund until after May 31, the IRS must pay you interest.

 

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