TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cleveland Waitress Gets $434,712 Tax Refund Check From IRS

USA Today, Cleveland Waitress Receives Huge IRS Refund Check by Mistake:

A longtime Cleveland waitress got the surprise of her life this week when an enormous income tax refund check arrived in the mail.When Ginny Hopkins filed her tax return, she expected a refund of $754 — money she really needs to fix her car, among other things. Instead of that check, she found a check mistakenly issued for $434,712 in her mailbox. ...

Hopkins knew that cashing the check could get her in a whole lot of trouble. "They'll put me in Alactraz, waiting on the night shift at Alcatraz," she said. "They'll reopen the place." ...

Hopkins made arrangements Wednesday to return the check to the IRS office at the federal building in downtown Cleveland. Since Hopkins needs the money right away, her friends at the restaurant and WKYC-TV in Cleveland advanced her the money. The IRS said sometimes mistakes like this happen, but it happens less often as more people file their taxes electronically. Hopkins should get her correct refund check in six weeks, the IRS said.

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So she returns the erroneously-drawn check and it will take SIX WEEKS for the IRS to cut her a new one for the correct amount? That's insane. IRS should have a check waiting for immediate exchange. That would be good customer relations, if nothing else, but then again, it's the government: it doesn't HAVE to please its customers....

Posted by: ColoComment | May 31, 2012 6:35:12 PM