"All we need is a good address. As soon as we get the correct address, we can start the check on its way," IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said.
Families who expected but didn't receive an advance child credit payment this summer must act by Dec. 5 to claim an undelivered refund this year. After the deadline, families must wait until they file their 2003 tax returns next year to claim the credit.
The IRS has nearly 116,000 undelivered child credit checks worth more than $50 million. The checks were returned most often because the taxpayer moved without notifying the IRS of a changed address.
A taxpayer can alert the IRS to a new address by calling 1-800-829-1040 or by filing Form 8822, which can be found on the IRS web site.
The IRS issued nearly 24 million advance child credit payments this summer after President Bush enacted a tax cut that increased the credit this year to $1,000 from $600. The checks were worth up to $400 per child. Families who had their first child in 2003 did not get a check and can claim the credit when they file their tax returns next year.
More than 92,000 tax refund checks also were returned to the IRS as undeliverable. The average check is worth $722.
Taxpayers can use the IRS web site to check the status of their refunds and advance child credit payments, and get instructions for claiming an undelivered refund.
"Our goal is to get this money back in the hands of the people it belongs to, and we want to get the checks out as soon as possible," Everson said.