If you expected to get an income tax refund from your 1976 District of Columbia income taxes and did not get it, call the city.

That's the advice the D.C. Department of Finance and Revenue offers to anyone who paid D.C. income taxes in 1976, was due a refund, but never got it.

This year, city official said, the city has been unable to locate 763 taxpayers who are due $54,689,22.

The checks were returned because of incorrect mailing addresses.

Oresta Maltagliani, of the D.C. Department of Finance and Revenue, said the returned checks are mostly the result of taxpayers moving from the addresses listed on their tax forms and not leaving forwarding addresses.

Other city officials said the city makes errors sometimes as well, incorrectly keypunching address information used on the checks.

This year, about 200 fewer refunds were returned to the District because of incorrect addresses, a fact at least one official attributes to a better monitoring of the check disbursing system.

"Hopefully we're doing a better job in getting checks to the customers," said Richard M. Curtin Jr., of the city finance office.

Curtin said that after several months, unclaimed checks are returned to the city's income tax fund, but taxpayers can get their refunds at any time. He said the money, an obligation of the city, cannot be spend for any other purpose.

Those who have not received their refunds should call the city at 629-3029;629-3039 or 629-3049.