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Government Owes Millions in Unclaimed Tax Refunds

Government is in possession of millions of dollars in unclaimed tax refunds. This money is lying with the U.S treasury in the absence of any rightful owners. According to a recent report, millions of U.S. residents (around 28 million) are still relying on food stamps to survive while billions of dollars are still waiting to be united with their rightful owners.

The combined value of unclaimed money in the 50 states is over $30 billion, which is being safeguarded by the government in the various State Treasury Departments. States like New York and California are one of the largest collection points for unclaimed tax refunds.

A look at the unclaimed tax refunds in some of the major states and cities reveal the real magnitude of unclaimed tax refunds. As an example, almost $5.6 million is owed to the 17,000 Albany residents as part of their unclaimed property tax rebate. Most of the unclaimed checks have been directed to the office of the State Comptroller in March 2009.

A TV report from Monroe County mentioned that around 40 uncashed checks are waiting in the New York State Comptroller’s office. “For confidentiality reasons I can’t tell you the exact amount, but the funds on all the claims range from less than $50 to several thousand dollars.” Emily DeSantis of the Comptroller’s office said.

“Most people only need to file a tax return as they normally do,” Dianne Besunder, spokeswoman for the IRS says in Schenectady’s Daily Gazette. “We will calculate eligibility and payment amount. However, many retirees and veterans do not normally file a tax return because their benefits are not taxable. This year, they must file in order to receive an economic stimulus payment.”

In Virginia, Maine and Tennessee, unclaimed checks averaging $700-$800 are yet to be put in the hands of thousands of residents who probably aren’t even aware they are owed unclaimed tax rebates by the IRS. California has the highest number of unclaimed tax refunds with almost $40 million owed to more than half a million residents.

Recent legislations and simplification of claim process have increased the number of tax refunds claim in the recent months, but the fact remains that billions of unclaimed funds are still lying unaccounted with the U.S state treasury.

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