Check with state, IRS to see if you have money coming

Thursday, March 9, 2017

If you haven't filed your tax return yet, perhaps it's because you know you'll have to pay the IRS instead of collecting a refund.

While you're collecting forms and thinking about your financial situation, we've got one more chore you should add to your list.

Point your web browser to https://treasurer.nebraska.gov/up/ and enter your name. Perhaps you'll have a pleasant surprise -- the state is holding unclaimed property for you.

Entertainer Dick Cavett found that out during a visit to his home state last month when the Nebraska State Treasurer's Office presented him a check for about $600 that belonged to his parents' estate.

He is the son and stepson of Alva and Dorcas Cavett, well-known Nebraska educators honored by the name of Cavett Elementary School in Lincoln.

Cavette, a Gibbon native who grew up in Lincoln, was set to perform at the Lied Center in Lincoln, Wayne State College and in Hastings when the state took the opportunity to spotlight the $170 million in unclaimed property held by the state. Nebraska Treasurer Don Stenberg wants to return it to some 350,000 Nebraskans, former Nebraskans and heirs.

It's commonly uncashed paychecks, refunds, rental deposits, utility deposits, stocks, dividends, insurance payments, savings bonds, trusts, matured CDs and lost IRAs.

Nebraskans aren't the only Americans who don't always keep track of funds they are due.

The IRS announced it is holding more than $1 billion in refunds for about a million taxpayers who didn't file a 2013 federal income tax return.

More precisely, the median expected refund would be about $763, and that doesn't include any unclaimed tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or education credits.

Altruistic taxpayers can sometimes be heard to exclaim that paying taxes is the price we pay to live in our free society.

That said, there's no reason not to accept funds or property to which we are rightly entitled.

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