Are you waiting for a knock on your door letting you know you have free money to help with your day-to-day expenses and give you some financial stability? While that might sound too good to be true, consider this your knock.
You could very well have some money or valuable assets that belong to you, and not even know it. Government agencies may be holding onto your assets or money until you step forward as the rightful owner. Usually, all you need to do is to claim them! Read on to find out how.
Sometimes, money that is owed to someone cannot get to him or her. This might be because the owner has moved away, changed names or is otherwise unreachable. It might sound odd to learn that people could forget they have money owed to them, but it happens quite often.
This money comes from a variety of sources, such as employers, utility companies, insurance companies, bankruptcies and banks. When no one has claimed this money after a while, it is held by certain government agencies.
Luckily, finding unclaimed money is not as hard as it sounds. If you think you have unclaimed assets, you can simply search the appropriate database and then file a claim. You will be asked for information about yourself such as your:
- Full name
- Social Security number
The database uses this information to match that with the information they have on file. Sometimes, you might be asked to provide additional documentation such as a death certificate if you are trying to retrieve unclaimed money from deceased relatives. If the entity holding the funds is satisfied that you are the rightful owner, they will usually send you a check in the mail.
Searching State Unclaimed Assets Databases
Each state has a government agency that is responsible for holding and administering these unclaimed funds and assets. To make it easier for the lawful owners to claim the money, they provide a free unclaimed money search online.
To find your state’s unclaimed money website, you can typically conduct an online search for the name of your state along with “unclaimed money” or “missing assets search.”
Since this is a state database, you will only be able to find money if you lived or did business in that particular state. If you have lived in several states, you might want to look nationally. While there is no federal unclaimed money repository, you can search nationwide with Missing Money; this website works in every state.
Unclaimed Tax Refunds
Did you file a tax return within the past year and are still waiting for your refund? If so, you may wonder, “Does the IRS owe me money?” The answer may well be “yes.”
You can see if the IRS owes you money by going to the IRS’s unclaimed tax refund database on its website. Search for your missing tax refund by typing in your Social Security number, filing status and the amount of your refund. If you have moved, you can update your address there as well.
In addition to this short-term search for IRS unclaimed refunds, there are other things you can do to find IRS unclaimed money. For example, what if after you filed your return, you found out about a credit or deduction that would have resulted in a refund or discovered an error on your return that would have given you a bigger refund?
Or what if you got a refund from the IRS, but there was money missing from tax refund according to your calculations? In this case, you may want to amend your tax return by filing a Form 1040X. Expect to wait up to 16 weeks for a reply from the IRS.
Another way the IRS may owe you money is if you did not earn enough to file a federal return. While you are not required to file a return, doing so may entitle you to a refund from your withholding or to claim a refundable credit. If you meet these qualifications, you can file late returns within three years of the return’s original due date.