Mr. Holmes of Chester, and those six people from Fort Mill and two from Lake Wylie and all 41 people from Rock Hill, I don't know any of you. But I am willing to be your best friend.
Because the Internal Revenue Service says it owes you money. A good chunk of change, too.
Yes, the IRS, the one that usually gets some of your money and is willing to find you if you don't pay up.
Well, it seems the IRS wants to find you even if they owe you.
There are 1,606 people in South Carolina, inexplicably in my eyes, who had tax refund checks mailed to them, then returned to the IRS.
A total of $1,344,134.90 is owed those people in South Carolina, IRS spokesman Mark Hanson said . In Rock Hill alone, those 41 people are owed $60,976.01. That's a Rock Hill average of around $1,487 per person.
The only place in York County where apparently everybody due tax refunds got the cash already is Tega Cay. There is not a single person from there on the list. I guess having your own park for dogs, like Tega Cay does, means people need the cash.
Every year, some tax return checks come back, Hanson said. People may have moved, put their address down wrong on the tax form, been in the military, whatever.
"I can see how it happens," Hanson said.
But why, I asked?
He had no answer why people wouldn't be waiting like hungry mutts for the refund check. I don't have one, either.
I asked Hanson how I can reach people who gave a wrong address or can't be found, and he said he didn't know.
"Obviously, we don't have their mailing address," he said. "That's why the checks came back."
Tax refunds are simple: That person overpaid income taxes. Translation: "It's their money," Hanson said.
Believe me, if any of you don't want the dough, I am willing to make a sacrifice and take it.
Except I can't.
There is no statute of limitations on the money, Hanson said. That check will be waiting for six days or six years or forever.
The state average is a whopping $836 and change per person. I am on direct deposit. I get $4 a week allowance. That unclaimed money is 209 weeks worth of beer for a guy like me.
So with Christmas on the horizon, gas prices off the charts and the cost of beer going up, I offer these words of advice: Check the list of people that runs with this column. If you know somebody on the list, tell them you know how to get them some holiday dough without sticking up a gas station. Act as an agent, like those bigshot sports and entertainment agents who get 10 percent off the top.
Then, after the deal is brokered, tell that person about how they can access the IRS records though telephone or Internet. Get your cut of the loot and blow it all on something nice for yourself. Like racing pinstripes on your old 1986 Mercury Cougar.
Or, if you are a decent, caring sort, give the money to charity or put it away in the kids' college fund.
Or do this: Put racing stripes on the kids' car, fill it with food, and drop it all off at a charity of your choice.