What would you do if a tax refund check of almost $123,000 showed up in your mailbox?
Of course, she could have actually bought herself a lot more stuff if she'd cashed in on Uncle Sam's mistake ... for a while. Chances are the IRS would have discovered its error and come looking for the misdirected money. Then Schultz would have had to give it back, along with interest.
As things worked out, Schultz has a clear conscious, along with a correct IRS bill of $80 that she owes. C'est la taxes.
Lose some, win some: Have you ever gotten unexpected money from the IRS? If so, what did you do? Was the IRS right or wrong in sending the unexpected refund?
The hubby and I have received both good and bad unexpected refund news from the IRS.
One year, we got a notice that I didn't include all our income on our 1040. The IRS was right; I missed some money and we ended up owing a bit more, plus interest, but at least the agency waived the penalty.
Then there was the year we got a surprise IRS check for $4,200. While that's substantially less than the refund windfall Schultz got, ours was correct. As before, the mistake was mine; this time I misread the tax tables at the back of the Form 1040 instructions.
But I felt the same unease as Schultz. Getting that U.S. Treasury check for more money than you think you should receive is a weird feeling. At least for the hubby and me, we got the explanation we wanted.
If you do ever get a check (or direct deposit refund amount) that you think is wrong, let the IRS know as soon as you discover the discrepancy. This story has more on resolving a wrong refund.
And remember, when it comes to the tax collector, it's always better to be proactive rather than reactive, even it costs you some cash.