Today’s news:

Millions in unclaimed cash - ‘Stimulus’ checks, tax refunds sit idle

About 4,700 Brooklynites are owed federal money and the Internal Revenue Service wants them to get it.

The money includes about $2.1 million in economic stimulus checks and $1.4 million in regular federal income tax refunds for 2007, according to IRS spokesperson Kevin McKeon.

McKeon said the average amount of stimulus money per check is $586. The average refund for the income tax refund is $1,076, he said.

“We want New Yorkers to get this money as soon as possible. If you think you’re missing a stimulus check or tax refund, take a few minutes to go on IRS.gov or call the toll free IRS stimulus or refund Hotline,” said McKeon. “The web site is open 24/7 to help you get your check.”

McKeon said all taxpayers have to do is update his or her address once. The IRS will then send out all checks due.

The checks that have not been delivered were prompted by them being mailed and then returned as undeliverable mail, meaning they had a wrong address.

It is crucial that taxpayers who are missing a stimulus check update their addresses with the IRS by Nov. 28, 2008. By law, economic stimulus checks must be sent out by Dec. 31 of this year.

Borough residents who did not receive their stimulus checks are encouraged to log onto www.irs.gov and then go to the link, “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?”

Once at this link, taxpayers can check the status of a stimulus check and receive instructions on how to update his or her address.

Taxpayers without internet access should call 1-866-234-2942.

Taxpayers who have not received their regular income tax refund checks should go to the same website, and click the link, “Where’s My Refund?”

These checks are resent as soon as taxpayers update their address.

Once at the link, a taxpayer must submit his or her Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2007 return.

The tool will provide the status of their refund and in some cases provide instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.

Taxpayers checking on a refund over the phone will be given instructions on how to update their addresses.

Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.

Taxpayers not sure of which type of check they may be due should check on a potential economic stimulus check first because of the looming deadline.

McKeon said the vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS reach their rightful owner every year, and only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.

To avoid future problems, the IRS encourages taxpayers to choose direct deposit when they file their return because it puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks.

Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into personal checking or savings accounts. Direct deposit is available for filers of both paper and electronic returns.

- Stephen Witt

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emelyn from new jersey says:
I need my stimulus check please
June 3, 6:52 pm

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