In the next few months, loyal tax-paying U.S. citizens will begin to gather paperwork to fill out 2010 tax returns, the same routine as every year. Everybody hopes for a refund and anxiously awaits the day that check comes in the mail.

But what if you moved between filling out your return and receiving your check? The IRS has $164.6 million in unclaimed refund checks due to 111,893 taxpayers. Why is the IRS hoarding refund checks? They were all returned undeliverable because of mailing address errors. These checks aren’t merely pocket change either; the average refund check amounts to $1,471.

Did this post refresh your memory of a possible long-lost refund? The IRS has made it surprisingly simple to hunt down your unclaimed money. Simply use its “Where’s my Refund?” tool. The tool will update taxpayers on the status of a refund and give the appropriate steps to change an address if it was returned undeliverable.

There is a simple option to ensure you never miss a refund check: when filling out your tax returns this year, opt for direct deposit. The money will arrive in your bank account quicker and there’s no need to fret about the check if you move.

The IRS wants the public to be aware that it will not contact taxpayers by email to notify pending refunds and that emails carrying that message are identity theft scams. If you think you are owed money, the best way to find out is to use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

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