U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) alerted Ohioans to unclaimed tax refunds owed to them by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) they have left on the table. Inaccurate addresses have caused these funds to be returned by the U.S. Postal Service. In 2011, more than 2,000 Ohioans had unclaimed tax returns and the average check was more than $1,500. Brown also released a list of local IRS offices where Ohioans can see if they have unclaimed funds.
"We need to do all we can to help Ohio families make ends meet--we need to make sure Ohioans know about unclaimed tax returns and the House needs to act swiftly to pass the middle class tax cuts," Brown said. "Middle-class families cannot afford to leave one cent on the table, but that's what has happened in recent years because people just don't know that the IRS owes them money. This is money that should end up in the bank accounts of Ohioans -- not held up at the IRS because of a change in address or because a person did not earn enough wages to file a federal income tax return.
"In addition to getting money out of the hands of the IRS and into the hands of Ohio families, we should also help middle class families keep more of their earnings," Brown continued. "Now is not the time to threaten working families with a tax increase. Extending the middle class tax cuts is the right thing to do and the House should act now.
According to the IRS, if a refund check is returned to the IRS as undelivered, taxpayers can generally update their addresses with the "Where's My Refund?" tool on IRS.gov. The tool also enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds. A taxpayer must submit his or her Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2011 return. The tool will provide the status of their refund and, in some cases, instructions on how to resolve delivery problems. Ohio taxpayers checking on a refund over the phone will receive instructions on how to update their addresses. Taxpayers can access a telephone version of "Where's My Refund?" by calling 1-800-829-1954.
During a news conference call today, Brown also outlined efforts to avoid a tax increase on middle-class families. With just 19 days for Congress to act, Brown renewed his call on the House of Representative to act on the Senate-passed bill to extend tax cuts for 99 percent of Ohioans -- preventing the median-income Ohio family from seeing their taxes increase by $2,200 next year -- while reducing the deficit by $829 billion.