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IRS still has stimulus money for thousands in state

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Time is reportedly running out for Georgia residents who have yet to provide authorities with the information necessary to receive federal funds in 2008.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently seeking to deliver a total of $11 million in funds to 16,456 people in the state, for tax refunds and economic stimulus package payments.

According to IRS Spokesman Mark Green, the agency is experiencing difficulty in sending the checks, because officials do not know where they should be mailed.

"We're looking at a total of 16,456 Georgians who have either moved within the last year, and did not leave a forwarding address, or gave us a wrong address when they filed a return," he said. "There is a twist this year, due to the stimulus packages."

Georgians who have not supplied updated address information, must contact the IRS by Nov. 28. The deadline for stimulus and refund checks to be sent is Dec. 31.

The IRS corresponds each year with media outlets and other venues, in an effort to make contact with Georgians whose addresses have changed without the agency's knowledge. The problem was compounded when the federal government began issuing stimulus checks in February and March.

"Our goal is to get this money back in the hands of the people it belongs to as quickly as possible," added Green. "As soon as we get the correct address, we'll start the check on its way."

According to a written statement issued by the agency Monday, the vast majority of checks it mails out each year consistently reach their rightful owners.

"Through September 2008, the government distributed 116 million economic stimulus payments, with only about 279,000 checks being undeliverable," the statement said. "Meanwhile, the IRS has distributed more than 105 million regular refunds this year, with only about 104,600 being undeliverable."

The IRS is reporting in Henry County, 161 residents have yet to obtain their stimulus payments. Federal funds due to people living in the area average $613 and total $98,703.

Taxpayers can update their addresses using the "Where's My Refund?" tool on the agency's web site, www.IRS.gov. The site also enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds, by submitting a social security number, filing status and amount of refund displayed on their 2007 return. This system is available by phone, at 1-800-829-1954.

To prevent difficulties in receiving refund checks from the IRS, due to a change of address, residents may call 1-800-829-3676. Inquiries regarding stimulus payments can be made by calling 1-866-234-2942.