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IRS has $1,875,483 in undeliverable refunds and economic stimulus payments for New Mexicans

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for taxpayers across the county who are missing more than 279,000 economic stimulus checks totaling about $163 million and more than 104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.

“People across the country are missing tax refunds and stimulus checks. We want to get this money into the hands of taxpayers where it belongs,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once. The IRS will then send out all checks due.

STIMULUS CHECKS

It is crucial that taxpayers who may be due a stimulus check update their addresses with the IRS by November 28, 2008. By law, economic stimulus checks must be sent out by December 31 of this year. The undeliverable economic stimulus checks average $583 nation-wide. For New Mexicans, the average economic stimulus check is $600.

The “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?” tool on www.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 REFUNDS

The regular refund checks that were returned to the IRS average $988. For New Mexicans, the average refund amount is $803. These checks are resent as soon as taxpayers update their address.

Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on www.irs.gov. It enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds.

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. See instructions above.

The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS reach their rightful owner every year. Only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. 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 one percent of refunds or stimulus checks were undeliverable.

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.


2009 inflation adjustments widen tax brackets and expand tax benefits

For 2009, personal exemptions and standard deductions will rise and tax brackets will widen because of inflation adjustments recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service.

By law, the dollar amounts for a variety of tax provisions must be revised each year to keep pace with inflation. As a result, more than three dozen tax benefits, affecting virtually every taxpayer, are being adjusted for 2009. Key changes affecting 2009 returns, filed by most taxpayers in early 2010, include the following:

The value of each personal and dependency exemption, available to most taxpayers, is $3,650, up $150 from 2008.

The new standard deduction is $11,400 for married couples filing a joint return (up $500); $5,700 for singles and married individuals filing separately (up $250); and $8,350 for heads of household (up $350). Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and state and local taxes.

Tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. For a married couple filing a joint return, for example, the taxable-income threshold separating the fifteen-percent bracket from the twenty-five-percent bracket is $67,900, up from $65,100 in 2008.

The maximum earned income tax credit for low- and moderate-income workers and working families with two or more children is $5,028, up from $4,824. The income limit for the credit for joint return filers with two or more children is $43,415, up from $41,646.

The annual gift exclusion rises to $13,000, up from $12,000 in 2008.

Revenue Procedure 2008-66 contains inflation adjustment items for 2009 and is available online at www.irs.gov.

 

 

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