About 1,300 STAR checks unclaimed, possibly tossed out as junk mail, state says

New York tax department officials say about 1,300 STAR checks — or 1 percent of the total mailed out in 2016 — have not been cashed.

Last year was the first year the state switched from up-front exemptions on tax bills to mailing out checks to more than 130,000 homeowners.

The checks — which are for about $750 for most households — could have been mistaken for junk mail, thrown in the trash or just lost. The checks for those aged 65 or older – who get a bigger tax break – average about $1,500.

Those who missed their checks in the mail during last year’s mailing were sent a follow-up letter in July. If there was still no response — or if the information provided was not complete — the New York Department of Taxation and Finance plans in March 2018 to forward information on the uncashed checks to the state Comptroller Office’s unclaimed funds division.

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