By Lynda Jensen
Thousands of dollars in stimulus checks and tax refunds were returned in the mail as undeliverable to local addresses, leaving the IRS to attempt other means to contact taxpayers.
This pertains to 10 people from Litchfield, two from Darwin, and one each from Dassel and Cokato.
Those affected include Benjamin Nyman of Dassel and Ryan Zitzloff of Cokato, and as well as Darwin residents Ethel Graf, and Victor Norberg.
“The deadline is looming,” said Carrie Resch of the IRS. Residents have until Friday, Nov. 28 to claim their stimulus checks, she said.
Names of the missing respondents are below, by county. For a complete list of all residents in local counties, click here. For a complete list of all returned checks in the state of Minnesota, click here.
Forty-four people are listed as having their checks returned. This includes 34 stimulus payments totalling $19,292 and averaging $567; as well as 10 tax refunds totalling $16,259 and averaging $1,355.
Others who are missing their checks come from nearly every corner of Wright County, with as many as 11 from Buffalo, down to one each in Montrose and Cokato. There are seven from Monticello, four each from Clearwater, St. Michael and Rockford, three from Albertville, and two each from Delano and Annandale.
There are eight stimulus payments and six tax refunds undelivered, Resch said. Figures were not available on amounts, since the total number of people was fewer than 10, which violates disclosure rules, she said.
Most of these people are from the Litchfield area, with 10 people being listed there. There is one person from Watkins with a missing check.
In McLeod County, 21 stimulus payments were returned as undeliverable, totalling $10,971 and averaging $522, as were seven tax refunds.
Those listed included Stefanie Kero, Rita Kuka, and Mark McCarthy, all three of Winsted, and Josh Jaskowiak of Silver Lake.
Hutchinson has 18 people with undelivered checks, and Glencoe three. There are two from Stewart.
Deadline is Nov. 28
Friday, Nov. 28 is the deadline for people to claim undeliverable stimulus payment checks from the IRS.
The stimulus checks sit waiting for an updated address, along with about 1,300 regular tax refund checks from Minnesota totaling $1 million that bounced back to the agency as undeliverable by the postal service.
By law, economic stimulus checks must be sent out by Dec. 31 of this year, so it’s critical that taxpayers who may be due a stimulus check update their address soon, Resch said. The undeliverable economic stimulus checks average $560 in Minnesota.
The “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?” tool on the web site http://IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest way for a taxpayer to 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.
Regular income tax refunds
The regular refund checks that were returned to the IRS average $778 in Minnesota. There isn’t a deadline to get these checks; generally, they are reissued as soon as taxpayers update their address.
For most people
The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS reach their rightful owner every year. Only a very small percentage are returned by the US Postal Service as undeliverable.
Through September 2008, the government distributed 116 million economic stimulus payments with only about 279,000 checks being undeliverable. Meanwhile, the IRS has distributed more than $105 million regular refunds this year, with only about 104,000 being undeliverable.
In both cases, well under 1 percent of refunds or stimulus checks were undeliverable.
Avoiding 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.