Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Typo Delays Family's Tax Return; Bureaucrats Offer Little Help to Resolve
(KUTV) On Nicolas and Vicki Peterson's 2012 federal income tax return there was a mistake. Between them and their accountant, somehow two numbers were transposed when they listed their checking account number. It's a small mistake that is costing the family a lot of money. The Peterson's $2187 tax return was direct deposited by the I.R.S. into somebody else's account.
When Nicolas realized the error, he contacted both his credit union and the I.R.S., but he says both have said that the other would need to straighten out the mess for him.
"Sometimes it's just a matter of it seems nobody wants to help," he said.
Nicholas has been fighting now for his return for several months, but fighting on his own got him nowhere so he decided to Get Gephardt.
Get Gephardt began by trying to reach out to the Internal Revenue Service through their national spokesperson as well as the local taxpayer advocates. That didn't get anywhere because all of the people who normally are on hand to help consumers when the I.R.S. makes a mistake are furloughed as part of the ongoing government shutdown.
We did find on the I.R.S. website that in the event a taxpayer makes an error listing their account number, "you must work directly with the respective financial institution to recover your funds."
So Get Gephardt reached out to Nicolas' credit union on his behalf. Corporate communication director Heidi Worker said she couldn't discuss the situation due to privacy concerns, both for Nicolas and Vicki as well as the person to whose account the money ended up being deposited. But in an email she wrote, "Rest assured that we are deeply committed to helping our members in any and every way we can. We are actively working with Mr. Peterson and the other member who is involved."
Sure enough, a few days later Nicholas and Vicki say they were finally awarded their 2012 tax return.
If you file for tax returns and have the money deposited directly into your bank account, be very careful that you list your bank account and routing the numbers correctly. The I.R.S. makes it very clear that they assume no responsibility for errors and will not work to help you get your money back.
By Matt Gephardt
Photography by Ryan Anderson
Edited by Aaron Colborn
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)