By: Karen Leavitt, CPA, CDFA
Bronswick Reicin Pollack, Ltd.

“My refund check arrived but it’s smaller than what I thought it would be on my 1040. I’m concerned there may be a discrepancy. Is there anything I can do to find out for certain? Or am I basically at the mercy of the IRS?”

Just because it’s the IRS doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes now and then. So you absolutely have a right to discover why there’s a difference between what you expected to receive in a refund and what you’ve actually received now.

In most circumstances, the IRS will provide a written letter to explain the mathematical difference you’re seeing. However, you won’t often see this letter arrive simultaneously with your check.

When the letter does arrive, we can analyze the matter at hand to dive deeper into why the difference in numbers has occurred and formulate a response if necessary.

“Should I cash the check anyway?”
That depends if we’re talking about an amount smaller or larger than expected. Generally speaking, when the difference is slightly less than you expected, there’s little harm in cashing the amount now. Then, if through discussions with the IRS we find that more money is, in fact, due in your favor, the agency will send another check to make up the difference.

However, what if you’ve received a far greater of a refund than you expected, to the point of where you suspect an error might have occurred on the IRS’ part? In that event, it’s probably a smart move to hold off until a resolution has been made so you aren’t caught by surprise later on in having to pay back funds that weren’t yours. there may be a discrepancy. Is there anything I can do to find out for certain? Or am I basically at the mercy of the IRS?”

Just because it’s the IRS doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes now and then. So you absolutely have a right to discover why there’s a difference between what you expected to receive in a refund and what you’ve actually received now.

In most circumstances, the IRS will provide a written letter to explain the mathematical difference you’re seeing. However, you won’t often see this letter arrive simultaneously with your check.

When the letter does arrive, we can analyze the matter at hand to dive deeper into why the difference in numbers has occurred and formulate a response if necessary.

Don’t go into a conversation with the IRS alone.
From a personal phone call to supplying further documentation, BRP can be the best representative you could ask for in order to provide further clarity on any tax discrepancies. If you’re seeing a refund amount that you believe may be in error, let’s talk about it sooner rather than later at at 847.808.9800 or email us at info@BRP-CPAs.com.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Blog (the “Blog”) is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. In no event will BRP, or its partners, employees or agents, be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this Blog or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

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