Local taxpayers missing thousands in returns

Miss out on your 2008 tax refund?

Nearly $1.2 million is owed to Bay Area residents in unclaimed returns, including $277,000 in San Mateo County, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

People often move after they have filed their returns, but do not leave a forwarding address, IRS spokesman Jesse Weller said. As a result, the checks come back uncashed.

“We live in a very mobile society,” Weller said. “People move and the IRS is not informed.”

More than 200 people who lived on the Peninsula have refund checks waiting for them, according to the IRS. The average check amount is $1,136. In San Francisco, about 370 people are owed a collective $485,224, according to the IRS.

The checks do not expire, Weller said. When the person files their next tax return, the IRS will attempt to send the check to the new address or post the owed amount to an account listed on the new return.

There is a form, Weller said, to prevent this from happening. An 8822 form can be sent in before the tax return check is mailed, to let the IRS know of a change of address. The most effective way for a taxpayer to make sure they get their money is to file electronically, Weller said.

“It goes directly into your bank account,” he said. “The check won’t get stolen or lost. And you don’t have to change your address.”

Weller said checks are returned every year to the IRS uncashed because of a change of address. Nationally, $123.5 million in refund checks have been returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing errors. In California alone, $16.7 million was returned — money due to 15,374 Californians.

It is rare, he said, that a person eligible for a return is hiding from the government.

“Usually that’s when they owe money,” he said of taxpayers disappearing and not being able to receive checks. “We want people to claim this — it’s money they can use now.”

If you are missing your refund, call “Where’s My Refund?” at (800) 829-1954.

 

IRS wants you

More than $2.7 million in Bay Area refund checks are unclaimed.

County Check count Average amount Sum of checks
Santa Clara 632 $1,086 $684,187
Alameda 481 $999 $478,403
San Francisco 370 $1,311 $485,224
Contra Costa 339 $1,396 $473,159
San Mateo 203 $1,365 $277,070
Sonoma 132 $690 $91,080
Solano    126    $707 $89,050
Marin    84 $1,312$110,193
Napa 39 $1,155 $45,044

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Mask mandates are back: SF joins Bay Area response to surging Delta variant

Health officials in San Francisco joined six other Bay Area counties and… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read