The Internal Revenue Service is looking for 4,596 Southern California taxpayers who are due to receive a combined $5.6 million in undeliverable tax refunds. These are refund checks that were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors. Nationally, IRS is looking for 111,893 taxpayers who are owed a combined $164.6 million. In addition, more than 15,700 California taxpayers are owed $23.4 million, more than 14% of the total. All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once. Some taxpayers are due more than one check. “We want to make sure taxpayers get the money owed to them,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “If you think you are missing a refund, the sooner you update your address information, the quicker you can get your money.” Average undeliverable refunds rose by 28 percent this year to $1,471 from $1,148 from last year. Several tax law changes likely played a role in boosting refunds, including the First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit and various other tax provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 such as the Residential Energy Property Credit. The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS each year reach their rightful owner. Only a very small percentage (.32% this year) is returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable. E-file and Direct Deposit Taxpayers can avoid being on this list by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit for their refunds. Choosing direct deposit puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks. As of November 5, 2010, some 70% of all individual returns were e-filed and more than two-thirds (68%) chose to receive their refunds directly into personal savings or checking accounts. Treasury has issued 111 million total refunds thus far in 2010 and the average tax refund is just a shade under $3,000. Taxpayers can update their addresses and check the status of a refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. One must submit his or her social security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2009 return. “Where’s My Refund?” will provide the status of the refund and in some cases provide instructions on how to resolve delivery problems. Taxpayers can also access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954. E-file coupled with direct deposit is the best filing option; it’s easy, fast and secure. Visit www.irs.gov for complete details.