What are my obligations if I receive a refund in error?
If you receive a tax refund in error, you have a legal obligation to return the funds to the appropriate tax authority. Here are the steps you should take: 1. **Do Not Spend the Refund**: Avoid using the funds, as you will be required to return the full amount. 2. **Contact the Tax Authority**: Reach out to the IRS or the state tax agency that issued the refund as soon as you realize the mistake. For federal refunds, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. 3. **Follow Instructions**: The tax authority will provide you with instructions on how to return the erroneous refund. This may include sending a check or money order along with an explanation of the error. 4. **Document Everything**: Keep a record of all communications with the tax authority, including dates of calls, names of representatives, and any reference numbers. Also, keep copies of any written correspondence and proof of the returned payment (e.g., certified mail receipts, check copies). 5. **Amend Your Tax Return if Necessary**: If the erroneous refund was the result of a mistake on your tax return, you may need to file an amended return to correct the error. 6. **Interest and Penalties**: If you do not return the erroneous refund promptly, the IRS or state tax agency may charge interest and penalties. It's important to act quickly and responsibly to correct the error to avoid additional charges or legal consequences. If you're unsure about the process,
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