Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Woman's taxes flagged for 3 years over illegitimate refund check

If you are confused about exactly how your taxes are calculated and how much you'll get back or pay, you are not alone. In fact, some people have received a tax refund check before they have even filed their returns. Ohio residents may want to take heed, however, before cashing a check that appears to be a mistake on the part of the Internal Revenue Service.

Consider the case of a Texas woman who received a refund check for about $700. Understandably, she was surprised because she hadn't done her taxes yet. She got another surprise when the IRS had a record of the supposedly legitimate refund.

After some discussion with an IRS representative, it was determined that the woman had been a victim of tax fraud. Interestingly, the check the woman received was not from the Treasury Department, but from a bank in California.

Perhaps most disturbing is that someone somewhere had the woman's personal information, including her mailing address. This wasn't the first time, however, that her family had been defrauded. A couple of years ago, someone reportedly stole $5,000 from her husband's money market account by somehow acquiring his Social Security number.

Someone also used the family's FedEx account to send out checks and access bank information.

In this most recent instance, the IRS informed the woman that she would have to avoid filing her taxes online, and she was told to contact a number of agencies to resolve the matter. Her taxes will also be flagged for three years.

Clearly, a tax controversy can lead to potentially serious outcomes, and Ohio residents confronting a tax issue on any level may want to speak with an attorney with experience in this area of the law.

Source: WFAA.com, "Beware of unsolicited tax refund checks," Jim Douglas, Feb. 26, 2014

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