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$15 million in California tax refunds waiting to be claimed

January 7, 2011 |  3:28 pm

California's tax collectors are sitting on $15 million in tax refunds that have been returned by the post office because the taxpayers cannot be located.

The refunds, ranging from $1 to $218,000, belong to about 49,000 people, the California Franchise Tax Board reported Friday.

"The check was in the mail, but it came back to us," said board spokeswoman Denise Azimi. "We want to get the money back to its rightful owners."

Taxpayers who think they might be due a refund that they didn't get should check the board's website and click on the "Access to MyFTB Account" link (registration is required) and then "Check Your Refund." The information is available in both English and Spanish.

Other taxpayers who want to make sure they get their next refund should sign up for direct bank deposits when filing 2010 tax returns in the spring.

-- Marc Lifsher

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