Where To Look If You Have Unclaimed Money

By Lonnie Whitcher
Updated October 27, 2016
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Where To Look If You Have Unclaimed MoneyEveryone wants to get their hands on as much money as they possibly can. After all, if there's free money lying around, then you're going to want to grab it. Most frequently, money ends up missing because people move, and a check for a refund fails to reach them. Because of this, millions of dollars across the country are lying unclaimed in old bank accounts, forgotten 401k plans, pension plans, and more. Some of this money might actually be yours. So what are the best places to see if you have unclaimed money awaiting you?

The first place to start would probably be with the IRS. Every year, thousands of refund checks for income tax are returned to the IRS because the taxpayer has changed name or address. This means that you could be missing money that is legally owed to you. Contacting the IRS could be the first of the best places to see if you have unclaimed money.

Looking for Missing State Tax Refunds:

Similarl to instances of federal tax refunds, state tax refunds might not always find their intended recipients because they have moved, changed their name, or taken themselves to an undeliverable address. Fortunately, there are websites out there where you can search for unclaimed money by clicking on territories, states, or provinces from a drop-down map. This will help you to find all of your potentially lost money.

Look for Retirement Benefits:

One of the next best places to see if you have unclaimed money is in a retirement fund. Many people decide to change jobs and forget about the small balance that they hold on an old retirement plan given to them by a previous employer. In some circumstances, that balance can gradually grow into a significant surprise that is waiting for you when you return to track it down. The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits can help here. This is a non-profit resource that can be accessed for free, and it is also an organization that is devoted to helping you find the money you deserve.

Examine Old Bank Accounts for Missing Money:

You might be surprised to learn how many people actually leave unclaimed funds sitting around in old bank accounts, taken from insurance premium refunds that are owed to you, dividend payments, utility deposits, or various other sources of income that you didn't realize you were getting, or forgot about. The site known as missingmoney.com can offer a useful place to look for these missing funds easily, and you can track down the various different accounts where money could be sitting in your name and waiting to be picked up.

Treasury Funds:

Finally, according to the Treasury Department, around 25,000 payments are returned as undeliverable each year. This organization has a record of billions of dollars' worth of saving bonds that no longer pay any interest, yet the owner doesn't turn the bond in. If you have these bonds, you will need to cash them or reinvest them so that you can start getting your money to work for you again.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.