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Taxpayers' forgotten refunds pile up

Taxes — Unclaimed refunds go into special account at the Department of State Lands


More than 1,000 Oregon taxpayers have a refund check that is still waiting to be cashed.

The Oregon Department of Revenue has mailed letters to all Oregonians with outstanding refunds, but that’s no guarantee they’ll get the message.

One of the top two reasons for uncashed refund checks is that the person has an incorrect mailing address on file with the department, Budget and Finance Manager Jan Hunt said in a press release. The other reason is that people misplace their check.

This time last year, Oregonians hadn’t claimed more than $1.8 million in checks, according to the department. Officials won’t have a final number for 2014 checks until October. The average refund check is about $660, according to the department.

If a check is unclaimed for two years or more, the state considers it to be void and sends the funds to the Department of State Lands. Revenue officials have sent more than $12 million in unclaimed refunds to Department of State Lands since the agency took over the fund’s management in 2004.

Unclaimed money sits in a fund dedicated to benefit Oregon’s public schools until the owner or an heir claims it.

If you received a letter from the Department of Revenue and you have your check, you should cash it immediately.

If you received a letter and your check was lost or never received, sign the notification letter and return it to the Department of Revenue so it can issue you a new check.

If you didn’t receive a letter and you never received a check, you can visit www.oregon.gov/ dor to check the status of your refund or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free or 1-503-378-4988. For people who are hearing or speech impaired, call 1-800-886-7204.



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