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Unfortunately - these money are lost...
The statute of limitation to claim a refund is three years.
That also covers situations when the refund check was not cashed.
The IRS will NOT issue a refund check in such situation.
Sorry if you expected differently.
Please see the statute here
(a) Period of limitation on filing claim
Claim for credit or refund of an overpayment of any tax imposed by this title in respect of which tax the taxpayer is required to file a return shall be filed by the taxpayer within 3 years from the time the return was filed or 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever of such periods expires the later, or if no return was filed by the taxpayer, within 2 years from the time the tax was paid. Claim for credit or refund of an overpayment of any tax imposed by this title which is required to be paid by means of a stamp shall be filed by the taxpayer within 3 years from the time the tax was paid.
(b) Limitation on allowance of credits and refunds(1) Filing of claim within prescribed period
No credit or refund shall be allowed or made after the expiration of the period of limitation prescribed in subsection (a) for the filing of a claim for credit or refund, unless a claim for credit or refund is filed by the taxpayer within such period.
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