If you're one of a handful of taxpayers owed money by the Internal Revenue Service, a quick phone call or trip online could put some cash in your pocket.
The IRS reports 44 area taxpayers - 17 in Walla Walla County and 27 in Umatilla County - are owed $54,281, an average of $1,234 apiece. Agency records show no money owing to taxpayers who listed Garfield and Columbia counties on their returns.
Nationwide, much more money is at stake: $164.6 million owed to about 112,000 taxpayers.
If you're one of the chosen few, very little action is needed to get your money.
The IRS maintains a phone service at 800-829-1954 and has a "Where's My Refund?" tool at irs.gov. Either one can be used to get your refund back on track.
The agency will want to know your Social Security number, filing status and the amount of your 2009 refund. The same tool can be used to check the status of your refund come tax time next year.
The agency says one way taxpayers can reduce the chance of having a check returned to the IRS undelivered is to choose direct deposit for delivery of refunds, whether filing is electronic or by mail. The IRS also says taxpayers who file electronically have a lower risk of lost returns and a quicker turnaround for refunds.
And of course, because good news so rarely is unaccompanied by bad, the IRS warns taxpayers it will not alert them by e-mail of pending refunds, which means any such e-mails you receive - no matter how legitimate in appearance - are counterfeit.
Alasdair Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8311.
The irs owes you money
Internal Revenue Service records, which were authorized for release by Congress, show the following taxpayers are owed money by the agency.
If you are one of these people, call 800-829-1954 or use the "Where's My Refund?" tool at irs.gov to get your just desserts.
Agency records show no money owing to taxpayers who listed Garfield and Columbia counties on their returns.
Taxpayers who listed Walla Walla County addresses on their returns:
Louise A. Daniel
Oscar A. Barahona
Jack M. Carico III
Elise U. and Patricia A. Gomes
Carol E. and Loreta L. Gunderson
Christopher D. Harris
Scott L. Hollowell
John M. and Rosa M. Nehrbass
Pedro Nunez and J. de Dios Gonzalez
Jamie L. Riffle
Franklin D. Roof
Johnny R. and Ruth Rosario
Yolanda C. Trout
Kristina L. Wells
Taxpayers who listed Umatilla County addresses on their returns:
Juan D. Dominguez
Mariano Ramirez and Tiofila Murguia
Brian A. Stevens
James E. Welsheimer
Modesta L. Allen
Alejandro Alvarez Ruiz
Beverly J. and Walter H. Gibson Jr.
Walter N. and Elizabeth M. Jackson
Virginia L. and Leo R. Lucero
Jonathan D. and Melissa M. Nitz
Gerald C. Rusher
Charlie R. Sinclair
Lynn H. Williams Smith
Carolyn D. Wood
Donald and Donna Bowen
Cynthia A. Brown
Epitacio Ibarra and J. Gomez-Chavez
Emmanuel Cortez Dirzo
Francisco de la Cruz
Dewey R. Tegland