Stimulating for some but no checks
Colleen Spaulding’s economic stimulus check is just one of many pieces of mail she has not seen since moving eight months ago.
That’s despite filling out as many as 10 change-of-address forms with the post office, she said.
“For some reason my change of address didn’t seem to go through,” Spaulding said. “None of my mail comes to my house.”
However, Spaulding found out Thursday she might still have a chance to collect that stimulus payment. Her name was on a list of about 150 people in Greater Nashua that the Internal Revenue Service is trying to track down.
The IRS is looking for the rightful owners of tax refund and economic stimulus payments that, for one reason or another, never made it to the correct address. A total of $700,000 is owed to New Hampshire taxpayers.
“Some people just have not updated their address with the postal service, so there’s no address to forward the checks to,” IRS spokeswoman Peggy Riley said.
Others may not have received a check because the handwriting on the address line of their tax form was illegible, she said.
In Hillsborough County, the average refund check is $702 and the average stimulus check is $578.
“I’m right here,” Raymond Lawson of Nashua said when a reporter informed him the IRS was having trouble finding him.
Lawson received his regular tax refund in the mail, and has not moved in two years, so he couldn’t figure out what happened to the stimulus check.
“I’m amazed that it hasn’t come,” he said.
Lawson said he plans to spend his check when he gets it. Spaulding said she will probably use hers to pay bills.
Around this time every year, the IRS launches a nationwide media campaign to find people who have not claimed their tax refund checks. Lists of names are distributed to media outlets across the country.
Riley said the effort pays off, with many of the recipients coming forward after seeing their names on a published list.
“We do get a lot of people that see their name in the local newspaper,” she said.
However, the list is much longer than normal this year due to the addition of unclaimed federal economic stimulus payments, mailed to most Americans in the spring. Those nearly quadrupled the number of people the IRS needs to find.
Nationwide, the IRS is looking for a total of nearly 400,000 people with checks worth a combined $266 million. Nearly 300,000 of those checks are economic stimulus payments.
There’s no deadline for claiming refund checks, but stimulus payments are void if not mailed by the end of the year. To get your check in time, the IRS recommends updating your address no later than Nov. 28.
In New Hampshire, there are more than 800 outstanding economic stimulus checks totaling nearly $500,000 and nearly 300 refund checks totaling more than $200,000, the IRS reported.
In Hillsborough County, there are 316 stimulus check and 97 refunds.
For a complete list of names, visit www.nashuatelegraph.com.