The Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday that it has been unable to deliver $153.3 million in tax refund checks, including $18.1 million in refunds to 13,235 taxpayers in California.

In all, 99,123 taxpayers were due refund checks this year that could not be delivered because of mailing address errors. In Santa Barbara County, 140 taxpayers are due $158,042 in undelivered refunds, with $1,330 the average undelivered refund check.

Taxpayers who believe their refund check may have been returned to the IRS as undeliverable should use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on The tool will provide the status of a refund and instructions to resolve delivery problems.

Refund statuses can also be checked with the telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” at 800.829.1954. Callers will receive instructions on how to update their addresses.

To prevent lost, stolen or undelivered checks, the IRS recommends that taxpayers choose direct deposit for refunds, and file tax returns electronically, because E-file eliminates the risk of lost paper returns.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.