November 4, 2005
The IRS is looking for thousands of people across Virginia and before you run and hide they're not trying to take your money. They want to give you money. In Virginia, there's almost $2,000,000 in unclaimed tax refund checks waiting to be picked up. We found out just how much of that money belongs to people right here in the Charlottesville area.
"The largest refund in Virginia is over $127,000 dollars. The average refund check is about $880," said Gloria Wajciechowski, IRS Media Relations.
That's a lot of money burning a hole in the IRS's pocket when it could be in your pocket.
"The IRS is looking for 119 people in the Charlottesville area and over 2000 in Virginia," said Wajciechowski.
1.8 million dollars for whatever reasons just didn't reach its rightful owners.
"Taxpayers move, they get in the moving mode. Some people say 'well, its only a couple of hundred dollars;' they forget about it. College students particularly they will be in college around April and they move out around May before that refund check gets to them," said Wajciechowski.
Many unclaimed checks also belong to family members who lost loved ones recently.
If you think its easy finding the people on this list, think again. We've searched the phone book, online search engines and when we did find phone numbers this is what we heard: 'We're sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time.'
The IRS wants to get this money back into the hands of the people it belongs to.
"Get it now. It belongs to you. You worked for it, you earned it. It's your refund," said Wajciechowski.
If for some reason you don't claim your check this year., there is good news: all is not lost. Expect your refund the next time you file a tax return.
If you think you're owed a refund check go to www.irs.gov and click on 'Where?s My Refund' or call 1-800-829-1040.