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7 Places to Look For Unclaimed Money

How to Find Your Missing Money


How does money go missing? Most frequently, people move, and a refund check or account statement is no longer deliverable. Because of this millions of dollars are waiting to be claimed in old bank accounts, pension plans, forgotten 401(k) plans, and at the IRS due to undeliverable tax refunds. Some of it might be yours. How do you find this lost money? Here are seven ways you can find out if you have unclaimed money waiting for you.

1. Does the IRS Owe You Money? Here's How to Find Out

Suitcase with money, buried in ground, elevated view
Michael Cogliantry/ Taxi/ Getty Images

Each year thousands of income tax refund checks are returned to the IRS as undeliverable because the taxpayer has moved, changed his or her name, or simply because the check has an incomplete or improper address. Right now, almost 400,000 Americans are missing money that is legally owed to them. This site sponsored by the National Taxpayers Union, will help you track down any lost tax refunds or unclaimed money owed to you by the IRS.

2. Tracking Down Missing State Tax Refunds

Just like federal tax refunds, state tax refunds often don't find their intended recipients because of name changes, moves, or an undeliverable address. This site provides a way for you to sarch for such unclaimed money by clicking on a state, territory, or province from the map or drop box below. To find all your potentially lost money, be sure to search in every state where you have lived.

3. Are You Looking For Unclaimed Retirement Benefits?

Sometimes people change jobs, forgetting about a small balance in an old employer retirement plan. On occassion, that balance grows into a nice surprise waiting for them - if they take the time to track it down. The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits can help; it is a non-profit, free resource - an organization devoted to helping former employees locate lost or forgotten benefits. This site can also be useful for executors of estates who are trying to track down unclaimed money on behalf of a loved one or deceased.

4. Find An Old Pension Plan

If you participated in a pension plan that failed, it may be that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation owes you money. It could take some digging, but wouldn't it be worth your time to dig around for lost money? This site is where to start your search for old pension plans.

5. Find Missing Money in Old Bank Accounts

You may have unclaimed funds in old bank accounts, insurance policies, utility deposits, divident payments, escrow accounts, or because of wages owed to you by a former employer. This site provides a way to search for all types of missing money at once.

6. Treasury Hunt

The Treasury department says that each year 25,000 payments are returned as undeliverable. They also have record of billions of dollars of savings bonds that no longer pay interest and yet the bond owner has not turned the bond in. If you still have these savings bonds, you'll want to cash them in or reinvest them so your money can start working for you again. With Treasury Hunt you can see if your bonds are still paying interest and search for any other unclaimed sources of money from the Treasury.

7. Find Lost Life Insurance Money

Life insurance benefits go unclaimed more often than you might think. If you owned a life insurance policy that demutualized they may owe you cash or stock; if you had a relative pass away there may be unclaimed life insurance benefits out there. In either case, this is the place to start your search.

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