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Tax refund deposited in wrong account

Princeton Junction, NJ |

I filed my 2012 tax with my tax preparer in 2012 of which all my money was deposited into someone's else's account mistakenly and my tax preparer is not helping me. the police would not get involved, the irs has been giving me the shove around, the bank can't help me. I need some advice as to what to do and I think the person has spent my money.

it is definitely not someone I had a relationship with. I think it was either a mistake on the part of my tax preparer or fraud. The bank states my name never matched the account but they still deposited the money into the account and the IRS need to withdraw the money. The IRS on the other hand have done their investigation and tracer but are not helpful at all and states they can't withdraw the money back. The police said it is not a case they get into because it involves the IRS. The tax advocates won't help unless I am in a financial crisis which is ridiculous. I have the account information the money went into but the bank won't go into someone else's account and the funds are not available because the person spent my money. it is a lot of money to lose and I am just frustrated. it is a year and I refuse to give upon my money. really need some advice.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

What you should do next depends upon how much is involved. If it is an amount within the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Small Claims court ($3,000), then sue the bank in or the preparer in Small Claims court. If it is less than $15,000 go to the regular Special Civil Part. If it is more than that hire an attorney.


You are vague about whether the person was someone you have some sort of relationship with. If you deliberately had the money deposited in the account of someone you know, that is different than if you put in a digit wrong and it went to some random person. The fact that the police would not get involved tells me this is something likely deliberate on your part. Otherwise, insist on filing a complaint.
That being said, even if it were your error you could sue to recover the money on the theory of "unjust enrichment" - if the money wasn't given to someone with whom you generally share money and expenses. A difficult one to answer without all the facts of specifically whom you gave the money to.

This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.


There are two possible ways for the refund to go into someone else's account either the account and/or bank information was wrong on your tax return or the IRS entered the information wrong. If it was the IRS then you are entitled to get the refund from them because they did not put the refund in the account that you gave to them. If it is entered wrong on your return, then either it is the preparers fault for entering it wrong or your fault for not making sure it was correct before you signed the return.

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