The IRS recently issued a news release warning taxpayers to watch out for erroneous refunds. In some cases, taxpayers are getting tax refunds before they file their returns.
In one version of the scam, criminals file a false tax return on a taxpayer’s behalf, with instructions to the IRS to deposit the refund into the taxpayer’s bank account. The criminal then contacts the taxpayer pretending to be a collection agency employee calling on behalf of the IRS, directing the taxpayer to forward the refund to the collection agency.
In another version, the criminals place an automated call to the taxpayers to advise them that they are from the IRS, and that the taxpayer has received a fraudulent refund. The message directs the taxpayer to send the funds to the criminals, threatening the taxpayer with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a “blacklisting” of their social security number.
If you have received an erroneous refund from the IRS, and the refund was made by direct deposit, contact the ACH department of your bank and ask them to return the refund to the IRS. Also, contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040 (individual) or (800) 829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
If the erroneous refund was a paper check and was not cashed, write “void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check, and submit the check to the Internal Revenue Service at the address associated with the location below. The location is located based on the city on the bottom text line in front of the words “TAX REFUND” on your refund check. Include a note stating “Return of erroneous refund check because…” together with an explanation as to why the refund is being return.
The addresses are included below:
- ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
- ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
- AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
- BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
- CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
- FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
- KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
- MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
- OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
- PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104
If you have concerns about your refund, or believe you have received an erroneous refund, you can contact Brett Bissonnette at (513) 424-7693 or any of the qualified tax professionals at Clark Schaefer Hackett.