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Missing a Tax Refund? Find It Online

New database is quicker and easier to use than IRS version 

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Nearly 90,000 Americans are missing out on $73 million in federal income tax refunds they're legally owed, but an online database from the non-profit National Taxpayers Union (NTU) that is quicker and much easier to use than the IRS online version can help people find out if there is money waiting for them.

"The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts helped put more money back into the pockets of the taxpayers who earned it, but thousands of Americans are still not getting the full tax relief the laws provide," said NTU President John Berthoud. "Every taxpayer who has made an overpayment to the government deserves a refund, and NTU's online Refund Finder can help track down that money."

Each year, thousands of income tax refund checks are returned to the IRS as undeliverable because the taxpayer has moved, changed his or her name, or simply because the check has an incomplete or improper address. The database, which NTU has provided as a public service since 2001, is designed to provide the maximum flexibility of search options (by full name, partial name, or state), so users can find refunds that may be in limbo because of these problems.

Although the IRS's website also has an interactive refund feature, the agency requires taxpayers to provide a refund amount and other information that makes it difficult to use for citizens who aren't sure whether they have a refund coming, or who can't remember how much it might be. The NTU website also allows taxpayers to easily check for refunds on behalf of friends and relatives. If they have a refund to claim, then the NTU site directs taxpayers to the IRS toll-free number or the IRS website where they can securely claim their refund.

"Whether they need extra cash for the holidays, or some funds to put away for retirement or college, taxpayers literally do owe it to themselves to check out NTU's Refund Finder," Berthoud concluded. "The law limits the amount of time to claim a refund, so acting now could mean some serious savings."

NTU has taken over 50 pages of IRS computer files and compiled them into an easy-to-search database, located at www.ntu.org. The 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, the elimination of wasteful spending, and accountable government at all levels.

The NTU Tax Refund Finder can be found at: http://www.ntu.org/main/components/irs04/

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