Monday, November 24, 2008

Checking Online if Uncle Sam Owes You Money

Every year, millions of dollars in tax refunds, annuity checks and other government payments go unclaimed by the people to whom they're owed. Often people don't even know the money exists and have no idea how to search for the money or how much may even be available. It can be daunting to think of fishing through documents, visiting government offices and making endless phone calls, only to hit a dead end. Well, the government's gone high tech and now all the information you need is available online.

Think for a minute if any of these items listed on the US Government's Official Web site may apply to you and then check out the individual agency sites for more information:
Bank FailuresThe Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Credit Union Unclaimed Shares
The National Credit Union Administration

Damaged MoneyThe Treasury Department

"Investors Claims Funds" and Class ActionsSecurities and Exchange Enforcement

HUD/FHA Mortgage Insurance RefundsUS Department of Housing

Pension Funds from Former EmployersPension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Savings Bonds Interest Calculator/ReplacementUS Treasury

States' Unclaimed Property – Check state offices

Undelivered Tax RefundsIRS

A few tips for getting the best results:

Have pertinent information on hand. This includes any account or case numbers, social security numbers, and names of account holders.

Databases are susceptible to human error. If there are common misspellings of your name, try them if the correct spelling doesn't yield results.

Be sure to proceed with claiming any funds you find. While this sounds obvious, there are many people who find the money and don't take the extra steps necessary to actually receive it.

If you are owed money, it may only be a few dollars. However, for those lucky few, there's a windfall to be had. All through a simple Internet search and entering some basic information. And, even if you're convinced there's no way this applies to you, why not check? You may also want to take a peek for any elderly parents/friends for whom the Internet is not a quick and easy tool. They may be the ones most surprised by what they find!

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of a accredited online trade school. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com

No comments: