Tax refunds

Busy Season Problems: People Are Flipping Out Over Their Small Tax Refunds

You guys have probably seen or heard that as of Feb. 8, the average tax refund was $1,949, down 8.7% compared to the first two weeks of tax season last year. And you’ve probably seen or heard that economists and tax experts are saying it’s way too early to start rioting in the streets, as […]

2019 Tax Season Finally Gets a Start Date

After Trump administration officials said on Jan. 7 that the IRS would send out tax refunds during the partial government shutdown, the agency took to Twitter last night to announce the start date for the 2019 tax-filing season: #IRS confirms it will begin processing tax returns on Jan. 28, 2019 and issuerefunds as planned. See […]

Let’s All Enjoy This Story of a Rich Guy Who Procrastinated on His Taxes and Missed Out on a $1 Million Refund

Procrastinating clients are the worst. Well, judging by their performance in GCMMBSP, they're actually not; however, I think we can all agree that clients who wait until the last minute to provide you with necessary info deserve nothing less than waterboarding. That's why it's nice to read this Bloomberg article reporting that some CPAs have […]

You Won’t Mind if Your Tax Refund Is a Little Late, Will You?

No, you won't mind. The Obama administration said Friday it would allow people to sign up for plans on HealthCare.gov through April, and at the same time acknowledged it had sent some 800,000 people incorrect tax statements about their coverage in 2014. The announcement about the inaccurate forms caps a rough first year for the health-care […]

Milwaukee Man Killed for Tax Refund Offers Another Reason to Adjust Withholding

The violent filing season of 2014 continues: A Milwaukee man was charged Tuesday in connection with a homicide on the city's south side in which the victim was targeted for his tax refund. Doneal Bell, 21, was charged with felony murder in the fatal shooting of Mario D. Towns, 23, on March 1 in the […]

This Person Really, Really Loves Tax Season

For all your misery as you drag yourself ever closer to April 15th, you have people like this on the opposite side of the spectrum: Y'all still ballin or nah? #TaxSeason I counted $3500 but I have bad eyes and am not that good at counting either so might need one of you to check […]

Angry Guy Who Hates Tax Season Having an Even Worse Tax Season Than You

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an early contender for worst client of the 2014 filing season: A 19-year-old Detroit man has been charged with a slew of felonies stemming from a shooting at a tax business on the city’s east side Friday. Xzavier Tyrone Mazyck was arraigned on 30 counts today in 36th District Court, […]

Georgia Man Discovers IRS Wasn’t Joking About the Possibility of His Fake Treasury Bond, Fraudulent Tax Return, Bogus Refund Landing Him in Jail

If you are currently thinking about engaging in any tax fraud, you should know that if the IRS is gracious enough to inform you that your actions — like, say, claiming ownership of a treasury bond that it is most likely fake and requesting a large, bogus refund — could result in prison time, calling […]

IRS Won’t Be Sorry If You Never Get Around to Claiming Your Refund

The Internal Revenue Service says it has $917 million in unclaimed tax refunds from 2009, and time is running out to claim them. The refunds are owed to nearly 1 million people who failed to file returns for 2009. Taxpayers must file their 2009 returns by April 15 to claim their refunds. After that, the money […]

Woman’s Absurdly Unsophisticated Tax Scheme Still Managed to Dupe The Oregon Department of Revenue

As we've witnessed, perpetrators of tax fraud oftentimes utilize very simple methods. Slapping a dead person's name, birthdate, social security number, isn't terribly difficult once the data is obtained; throw some minors on there as dependents and you've got yourself a nice little refund at the expense of some grieving family members. Not complicated. You […]

Sweet Little Old Lady Didn’t Cash Mistaken Refund Check Out of Fear That Alcatraz Would Reopen Just for Her

Ginny Hopkins has waited tables at Johnny's Downtown in Cleveland for 20 years. In that amount of time, it's safe to say, Ginny has wished that a bag of money would fall off an armored truck, landing right at her feet or maybe some other financial miracle that would take her far away from the […]

Tax Refunds From ‘Secret Government Accounts’ Still Turning Out to Be Bogus

What’s most interesting about this particular scam is that it involved more people – 55 – than some accounting firms’ entire headcount.

A grand jury has indicted 55 people for participating in scams that tried to bilk the government out of more than $250 million in undeserved tax refunds, prosecutors in California said on Monday. Thirty-two indictments were returned by the grand jury accusing the people of various schemes to obtain the refunds. Millions of dollars were paid out, including a check worth almost $1.2 million, the prosecutors said. The owners of one California company were accused of making presentations that claimed customers could get tax refunds from a “secret government account” after making payments to the company and agreeing to pay a percentage of any refunds they received, the prosecutors said.

Grand jury indicts 55 for $250 million in tax scams [Reuters]

Wife of Man Who Received Tax Refund Without Filing Tax Return Under the Impression the IRS Was Letting This One Go

Typically if you receive a $6,000 tax refund check in the mail, it’s something you’ve been expecting.

Such was not the case for James King who had a check cut to him back in February but unfortunately it’s due to case of identity theft. Right now the IRS can’t make heads or tails of the situation and despite the mix-up/criminal activity, Mr King’s wife figured that this was opportunity:

“She was ready to spend it,” King said of his wife with a laugh. “She was ready to go cash it and spend it. She had a to-do list right from the get-go.”

Man gets income tax refund without filing a return [TBO]

Pastor Withheld Communion Because ‘It’s a Spiritual Thing,’ Not Because Members Kept Their Tax Refunds for Themselves

There are demons in his flock!

Pastor Calls Flock Devils, Demons: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

[via

Ohio Mistakenly Notified a Woman That She Was Due a $200 Million Tax Refund

Ohio, like many states, is in a bit of a budget pickle and perhaps this level of vigilance is part of the reason.

Denise Bossetti received a notice in the mail that indicated she was due $200 million but was skeptical (even with the letterhead).

Apparently 9,700 Ohioans received notices of inflated refunds and the Ohio Department of Taxation claims this is a new one and that “The problem has been fixed.” Probably a good idea.

Woman gets $200 million tax-return notice — but it was mistake [Sandusky Register via AT]

Area Man Steals Car After Learning About His Brother’s Crappy Tax Refund

Allegedly! Knowing the city of Lincoln, Nebraska like we do, it’s entirely possible that these two bros were simply still not over the Husker football team’s dismal display in the last two games of the season and this shitty refund was simply the kernel that busted the storage bin.

Lincoln police said one man was arrested after he refused to leave H&R Block when he became upset with his tax refund. And the man’s brother is accused of stealing an employee’s vehicle, according to police.

Authorities were called when Joshua Brown, 26, refused to leave the H&R Block on O Street. They said he was upset with his refund and insisted on talking with all the tax professionals in the building. Officers said they removed him from the property and cited him for trespassing and fail to disperse.

A half-hour later, officers said they were called back to the same business regarding a stolen Ford Explorer. An employee found her car and keys missing, police said.

Officers said Brown was inside the business with his brother, 31-year-old Michael Medina. Police said they found the Ford Explorer in the parking lot across from the brothers’ apartment on 10th Street. Police said Medina was arrested on auto theft charges.

Police: Man Upset With Tax Refund, Brother Charged With Auto Theft [KETV]

Breaking: Requesting Huge Tax Refunds Based on Crackpot Theories Still Being Attempted

Presumably, because the IRS wouldn’t possibly think to question liens taken out against government employees:

Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao, 28, of Rancho Santa Margarita and Las Vegas, is accused of taking out 22 false liens ranging from $25 million to $300 million against employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, as well as false liens against four federal judges, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.


Young Mr Cao wasn’t just doing this out of spite. Oh my lord, no. He had a theory behind his request for $20 billion in refunds:

Cao, whose business was Phoenix Financial Management Group in Lake Forest, filed fraudulent forms with the IRS on behalf of six clients “that grossly overstate his customers income and withholding to get grossly inflated tax refund checks,” according to a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Cao used a theory called “redemption” or “commercial redemption” – which prosecutors called a “rejected tax defier theory.” This theory claims that the U.S. Treasury keeps millions in a secret treasury account for each taxpayer. The secret account can be used to pay a taxpayer’s debts and tax liabilities if a taxpayer sends the IRS and banks certain documents, the theory goes.

“Cao’s theory is complete fiction,” the complaint reads.

Jesus, man. Not even an original crackpot theory. Spend some of those 223 possible years working on developing something new.

Man accused of $20 billion tax fraud [OC Register]
California Man Indicted in Las Vegas for Filing False Liens Against Federal Employees & Filing False Tax Forms [DOJ]
Earlier:
Give It Up Tax Protesters, You’re Just Screwing Yourselves

One Possible Sign that the Modeling Career Isn’t Working: You’re Claiming Bogus Tax Refunds

We don’t mean to crush anyone’s dreams of walk-offs or eating disorders but sometimes when you’re not sure if things are working out in your modeling career, you have to be able to recognize the signs when they appear.


One sure sign that you won’t be America’s Next Top Model (or the person fetching ANTM’s rice crackers) is that you find yourself claiming to have earned $550,000 working for an “environmental group” and then requesting a $200,000 refund for that “work”:

Nyemah Johnson, who models under the name Nyemah Marxx, falsely claimed he made $550,000 working for an environmental group and was entitled to the six-figure refund, prosecutors said.

He was one of five people arrested last week in a $1.1 million tax scheme that prosecutors said was led by Queens accountant Diana Rabin.

The bright side, of course, is that there is no such thing as bad publicity and assuming Mr Marxx has access to something a step above a public defender, he’ll manage to stay out of jail for too long and maybe then he’ll be able to land the “shirtless bro” gig outside the A&F.

Manhattan model, Nyemah Marxx, is caught in $200,000 tax scam [NYDN]

State Governments, Seeking to Be Less Popular, Delay Tax Refunds

Taxpayers in Hawaii, Iowa, North Carolina, New York, and Rhode Island expecting a refund may have to exercise some patience, as these states have already declared their intentions to delay cutting those checks to its citizens. And don’t get to excited about receiving any interest on your already interest-free loan you gave them; many states have to withhold refunds for at least 60 days before interest has to be paid.

Pulling this type of a stunt will get you nowhere in a popularity contest but hell, they don’t really have much of a choice:

Scott D. Pattison, the executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, said that it was “exceptionally unusual” for so many states to delay refunds, as they have throughout the current economic downturn.

“I think it’s just an indicator of how bad things have been,” Mr. Pattison said in an interview. “It’s politically, obviously, a problem. Also, I think from a policy standpoint, it’s a little hard to justify — this is the taxpayers’ overpayment that is due them.”

Obviously this is going to cause some tea-baggish belly aching but it is pointed out later in the article, if taxpayers really want to do something about this problem, they have the ability to make some changes themselves to avoid this in the future:

Verenda Smith, a spokeswoman for the Federation of Tax Administrators…said she hoped the troubles would prompt more taxpayers to file earlier; file electronically, which allows for much quicker processing time; and change their withholding status with their employers so they would not overpay so much. “You really shouldn’t give it to your state government as a no-interest loan, and then have to cool your heels while you wait to get it back,” she said.

We’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating – adjusting your withholding to get a big refund is stupid. We’d say that the states keeping it out of your hands was probably a good thing but then again, the state can waste the money just as well.

Half a Dozen States Delay Tax Refunds [NYT]

Accounting News Roundup: The Debate Over IRS-prepared Tax Returns; KPMG HK Senior Manager Arrested for Bribery; CFOs Starting to See Job Options | 04.09.10

Should the IRS Fill Out Our Tax Returns? [TaxVox]
Some say, YES! At the very least the Service could get the ball rolling, “by filling in your wage income, exemptions, and standard deduction and perhaps even figuring some other deductions and credits. This…could be a huge benefit for those who file Forms 1040A and 1040EZ.” Naturally, the taxpayer has to approve the return prior the actual “filing” of it but this would potentially assist millions of Americans who are otherwise stumped by 1040s of any stripe.


The other side of this argument is that it will delay refunds:

Bob Weinberger, a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security and a former top executive at the tax prep firm H&R Block. Bob counters that the “fatal flaw” of such a system is that it could delay refunds for months. For many taxpayers, Bob argues, getting a check from IRS in April is a key to their annual financial planning, and postponing that refund would generate a huge backlash. Bob also said such a system would be a huge drain on IRS resources.

While this likely true, the root of the problem is the “check from the IRS is key to financial planning” part. If these people need the money so bad, they should adjust their withholding so they don’t pay in so much during the year. Perhaps that’s not an easy concept to grasp, so if we say “You’re giving the government an interest-free loan for 12 months,” that will help.

HK charges KPMG man with bribery [FT]
Leung Sze-chit, a senior manager in the Hong Kong office, has been arrested on corruption charges after offering a co-worker a $12,280 bribe related to a client’s IPO. The FT reports that the firm learned of the situation via its internal hotline, “After investigation, the member of staff in question was suspended by KPMG and a report was then made . . . to the relevant authorities.” So yes, to answer some of you, people do call those internal hotlines.

CFO Job Options Opening Up [FINS]
After hunkering down for the last couple of years or so, CFOs are starting to see some new job options. FINS reports that “Some felt loyalty to organizations in financial straits, while others hesitated to jump given uncertainty about potential landmines at other companies.” Now that growth is slowly creeping back, “some companies are likely to find they need a different type of executive in the role. And some CFOs may even find themselves in line for positions higher up the corporate ladder.”

(UPDATE) Accounting News Roundup: Rangel Says He’s Not Quitting as Ways & Means Chair; IRS Is Sitting on $1.3 Billion in Unclaimed Refunds; SEC Adding Muscle in New York | 03.03.10

Rangel Loses Support in House [WSJ]
You can ignore what’s written below, except the part about rent-controlled apartments.

Charlie Rangel will not be quitting (temporarily sayeth Charlie Rangel) as the Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. If you (read: Republicans) want him out, you’ll have to vote him out. Bad news for Chuck is that the Republicans in the House and several of his fellow Democrats are poised to do just that, “As many as 30 House Democrats could join 178 House Republicans in voting to oust Mr. Rangel as head of the Ways and Means Committee…a substantially higher number than in previous votes on his removal.”

Never mess with people when it comes to rent-controlled apartments. They’ll turn on you like Judas.

In the meeting, Mr. Rangel refused to quit as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and instead said he’d think overnight about the matter before deciding whether to step down or face an uncertain vote.

After the one-hour meeting broke, Mr. Rangel told reporters he would stay on.

“You bet your life,” he said. Pressed further, Mr. Rangel, raising his voice, said emphatically: “Yes, and I don’t lie to the press.”

There you have it. You want Rangs out? It’ll be over his dead body. Since he’s 79, it might just come to that.

Taxpayers Have $1.3 Billion in Unclaimed Refunds [TaxProf Blog]
That’s just for 2006. California leads the charge with over $150 million, followed by Texas with $114 million, and Florida with $110 million. 1.4 million tax-hating Americans have until April 15th of this year to claim and then the money goes straight to Goldman Sachs.

SEC to beef up its NYC office in 2010 [Reuters]
Here’s a possible gig for those of you that are still looking for work. The not-so-new but constantly improving (?!?) SEC is looking to hire a few good men and women for its New York office. Having got the scratch to put a few more hands on deck, the Commission is looking for 18 people for its enforcement team and 15 for its examination staff. There’s no indication that this will solve the SEC’s “idiots” problem but maybe you can at least land a job.

Even More Tax-Related Violence: Wife Shoots at Refund Hogging Husband

As we still tread in the wake of the Joe Stack attack on the IRS, it seems that bizarro things are happening all over this great land of ours and many of them have to do with taxes and/or the IRS. Jailbirds requesting fraudulent refunds and receiving them, IRS-inspired bulldozing of houses and now we’ve learned about a woman who tried to kill her husband who wouldn’t share their tax refund money.

And like Joe, Bulldozer Terry and the Florida inmates, the woman is pretty satisfied with her actions:

Investigators say the woman then went into the city of St. Louis and threw the gun in a sewer. Police contacted the woman a short time later and she turned herself in. Police say she didn’t seem sorry.


“She felt more than justified. She cooperated very well, with the reasoning why she fired the shots, as well as recovering the gun. She said she didn’t want a child to find the gun in the sewer,” says Daniel O’Conner, the Assistant Chief of Police for Pine Lawn.

This lady can’t be all bad; she was thinking about the kids when she threw that gun in the river. There’s no indication that the husband in this little caper was just a greedy SOB or if his not-so-good sharing skills were justified due to a spendy Mrs.

Regardless, it’s seems that every hour brings another story that strengthens the argument that taxes are the cause of all the strife and violence in this country. We should have taken the IRS shotgun shopping spree as a sign.

[h/t TaxProf and Tax Update]

David Paterson Not Unpopular Enough, Considers Refund Delay

Okay, so New York is in a dire fiscal situation and David Paterson is pulling out all the stops. Last week, he started kicking the idea around of temporarily freezing New York State tax refunds for individuals and businesses until a state budget is in place.

Naturally, the Governor is putting this on the New York State legislature saying that if they do not ‘act, and close this deficit with real and recurring deficit reductions, not made-up, phony revenue enhancers that don’t really exist’ then the state could go bankrupt. Don’t blame him, New Yorkers! He’s trying to fix this damn mess.


According to a report from WRVO, the state would freeze $500 million in taxpayer refunds and $200 million in business refunds to April 1st. Are people really getting their tax returns filed that quickly? Is there some kind of recessionary trend that shows that tax returns are filed more quickly during bad economies? Nothing is official yet so don’t worry but sounds like they’re running out of ideas up there.

Regardless of the suggestion, Paterson’s critics are not down for this, as Assembly Minority leader Brian Kolb called the withholding tax refunds “an absurd and crazy idea.”

Since “absurd and crazy” seems to be par for the course in Albany, we can’t really say that this is the worst idea David Paterson has ever had. He’s talking to Eliot Spitzer again, isn’t he?

Gov. Paterson Comments on Withholding Tax Refunds [WRVO via Web CPA]