During the tax season, it’s not uncommon for members to be anxiously awaiting their tax refund check or direct deposit. For the most part, a little patience is all that is needed to settle their concerns. But for an unlucky few, their worst fears come true in the form of a lost or stolen check, or a misguided direct deposit.
Lost or Stolen Checks
If a member believes his tax refund check has been lost or stolen, please click to visit the IRS “Where’s My Refund” tool, or call the IRS telephone version of “Where’s My Refund” (800.829.1954). The tool will provide the status of the refund and, in some cases, instructions on how to resolve delivery problems. It will typically have information about the member’s tax refund 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of the member’s e-filed return, or three to four weeks after the member mails his paper return.
Members in Delinquency
In some cases, a portion or all of a member’s tax return will not be delivered to the member, but rather allocated toward a delinquent amount owed by the member for such things as state income tax, back child support, or delinquent non-tax federal debts, such as a student loan. The Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service, which disburses IRS refunds, will automatically deduct the delinquent amount from the member’s refund before any monies are disbursed by check or direct deposit. In such cases, the FMS provides a letter to the member explaining any offset amount, the agency receiving the payment, the address and telephone number of the agency, and amount of refund offset. Member’s wishing to dispute the debt, will have to do so with the agency listed on the notice, not the IRS.
If the IRS has made an error that resulted in the member receiving the incorrect amount returned or no return at all, the member should contact the IRS directly to resolve the issue (800.829.1040). The IRS maintains a customer service line that members may call to speak to a representative regarding tax return errors. The Credit Union is not responsible for resolving any errors made by the IRS. The IRS will correct any agency errors.
The IRS warns members to be very careful when entering their account and routing numbers when they choose direct deposit on their paper or electronic return. In most cases, an error will result in a delay of payment since the IRS issues a paper check instead of the direct deposit. But an error may result in the direct deposit going into an account belonging to someone else. The IRS will automatically issue a paper check if the account and routing numbers do not pass the IRS’ validation check, or if the credit union rejects and returns the deposit to the IRS. However, if the member enters the incorrect account and/or routing numbers, and the deposit is accepted, the member will have to work directly with the credit union to recover the funds.