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$8 Million in Undelivered Tax Refunds

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) is holding more than $8.1 million in unclaimed 2005 state tax refunds.

“This is money hardworking California taxpayers are rightfully owed,” Controller Westly said. “Taxpayers can choose electronic direct deposit as the best way of preventing lost tax refunds. It’s easy, it’s secure, and you’ll get your refund faster than waiting for a paper check.”

This year, the FTB issued more than 9.3 million refunds worth more than $6.9 billion. However, 37,000 refunds have been returned to the State as undeliverable. Many refunds were never received because people simply moved between the time they filed their taxes and the refund checks were mailed.

Since 1998, the FTB has encouraged taxpayers to use direct deposit for the fastest and safest receipt of their refunds. In 2006, more than 3.7 million taxpayers had $3.3 billion in refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts. That’s compared to 3.4 million taxpayers and more than $2.8 billion in refunds in 2005. The amount of returned refunds ranged from $1 to more than $48,000.

The FTB automatically reissues returned refunds once a new address is received. Taxpayers who have changed addresses are encouraged to call the FTB to update their addresses.

“I urge taxpayers to contact the FTB to inquire about the status of their state tax refunds,” said Board of Equalization Chair and FTB Member John Chiang. “The FTB Website, www.ftb.ca.gov, includes an application where you can check the status of your refund in English or Spanish.”

California taxpayers who did not choose direct deposit can call FTB at (800) 852-5711 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, to check on the status of their refunds. Taxpayers can also call the same number to update their addresses.