Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
How can that be? Many people haven’t gotten around to filing taxes or have made tax mistakes. But the IRS isn’t heartless. You can correct your mistakes and possibly get some money back in your pocket from an unclaimed tax refund.
Unfiled tax returns
Are you one of those people who haven’t bothered with filing taxes for a few years because you have refunds coming anyway? The bad news is, if you don’t file within three years, the IRS gets to keep your money.
For example, I knew a commercial pilot stationed in Greece who, for about 10 years, had lots of withholding from his paychecks. Plus, he paid about $10,000 a year with each extension. But he didn’t file tax returns. When he finally caught up on filing taxes, he found he had been owed $10,000 a year worth of refunds. By not filing annually, he lost over $70,000!
Do you have open years that you were going to get around to filing someday? Make today the day to catch up on refunds for 2009 to 2011.
Correcting inaccurate addresses and other mistakes
When your tax return has errors, adjustments, or changes, the IRS sends you correspondence—including additional refund checks. Many of those are returned to the IRS as undeliverable. How could your tax return have been filed with a bad address? Here are four common errors:
1) Millions of people use tax software that rolls over last year’s data (either online or on your computer). So do tax professionals. Do you verify the mailing address on your tax return to ensure it is your current address? You should. If you’ve moved during the past year, you may have forgotten that the address on last year’s tax return is your prior address. And you may have forgotten to tell your tax pro, too.
2) When preparing your tax return, it’s natural for you use the address you’re living at when you file your return. Suppose you move a few weeks later. How will you get the IRS correspondence or refund checks? Many people don’t ever receive them. TaxMama usually suggests that the new address be used on the tax return. If there you don’t have a new address yet, open a mailbox account in the new area to receive your mail during the transition.
3) When typing in information, you can transpose numbers, letters, or digits, and autofill errors can also occur. Be sure to review ALL information before finalizing any tax returns or online orders.
4) When you move, it’s your obligation to notify the IRS about your new address. Filing a new tax return or responding to correspondence doesn’t tell the IRS computer about your new address when it comes to other years, tax periods, or tax issues. Only the change of address form alerts the whole system. If this applies to you, file Form 8822 now.
How can you tell if you have refunds coming to you? Read this article to see what you might have missed, and then call the IRS at 800-829-1040. You might have to file back tax returns, claims for refunds, or other paperwork. And remember to follow up with your state, too.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.