year the IRS had 99,123 refund checks totaling $153.3 million - an
average of $1547 per taxpayer - returned by the post office as
primarily due to unreported changes of name and/or address,
typically after a move, marriage, death or divorce.
In addition, IRS holds a number of refund checks that were delivered but for one reason or another were not cashed. An estimated $500,000,000 in IRS tax refund checks go uncashed and unpaid every year.
IRS policy is to credit any amount due to returns filed during the succeeding three years. If no tax returns are filed, the taxpayer's account reverts to inactive status and is removed from the active master file.
Taxpayers must request reissue if a tax refund check has been lost, destroyed or voided due to the passage of time -- US Treasury checks are generally negotiable one year from the date of issue.