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IRS owes $415,368 to locals

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Internal Revenue Service has more than $400,000 in federal tax refunds that came back to the IRS as undeliverable for 370 Gwinnett County residents.

Eric Erickson, an IRS spokesman, said the IRS does not know how to contact the people owed refunds.

"Refunds are often returned to the IRS because they (the taxpayers) moved without notifying the IRS or (U.S.) Postal Service of a change of address," Erickson said.

In Gwinnett County, $415,368 is owed, with the average refund being $1,122. In Georgia, $4.7 million is owed to more than 3,500 Georgians. Nationally, 95,746 taxpayers are missing out on income tax refunds worth $92.2 million - averaging $963.

All of the residents owed money filed tax returns, Erickson said. The money can be claimed as soon as residents update their addresses with the IRS.

Taxpayers can use the "Where's my Refund?" feature on the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov, to find out the status of their refund. Those who use it must enter a Social Security number, filing status - which is single, married and filing joint return, married and filing separate return, head of household or qualifying widow(er) - and the refund amount shown on the 2005 tax return.

In some cases, the online feature will provide instructions on how to resolve account issues, such as updating a mailing address.

A telephone version of the feature is also available. Call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954.

To make sure the IRS has a correct address, file Form 8822, Change of Address. The form can be downloaded from www.irs.gov by clicking on the forms and publications link under IRS Resources.

The form can also be requested by calling the IRS at 800-829-3676.

Although the IRS would like everyone to claim the money as soon as possible, there is no deadline to claim the checks.

"The money is there until they claim it," Erickson said.