The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-03-2011, 04:39 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
I just got a check from the US Treasury and I'm not sure why

I just received a check in the mail from the US Treasury for $150 and some change (I know: champagne problems).

A few months ago, when I did my taxes, I found that I owed them $122 and some change, and mailed off a check. I'm guessing that I must have calculated something incorrectly, and overpaid, so they sent me the balance.

What I'm wondering is: how do I figure out what I did wrong? Ideally, I want to avoid making the same mistake next year. I'm tempted to call up one of the IRS helplines and ask, but I'm also afraid of drawing any IRS attention to myself in any way at all.

My taxes are really not that complicated. I have a single W2, and a handful of interest and divident 1099s. I have some capital losses to offset a bit of income, but other than that I take the standard deduction, etc. I'm at a loss as to how I could have miscalculated by $150.

What do you think?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-03-2011, 04:53 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
I can't remember the timing, but the IRS notifies you of the error (including what you did wrong) either before they send the check or in the same envelope.

I once received a couple $k from some research company I'd never heard of. Called the company named on the check and they thanked me--a bunch of their blanks had been stolen. There was some kind of phishing scam involved that, had I deposited the check, would have compromised my bank account #.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-03-2011, 04:55 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
We got an income tax adjustment this year in the same way. The notification explaining it came a day later, in a separate envelope. Basically we forgot to claim an economic stimulus-related tax credit. I've heard from a few other people that had the same thing happen this year, so maybe that's the case for the OP also.

Last edited by MsWhatsit; 06-03-2011 at 04:55 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-03-2011, 06:48 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Nanjing, China
Posts: 8,965
I got my normal refund this way (despite requesting the normal direct deposit), and the letter explaining it came the next day. The explanation was that amounts beyond a certain threshold are only sent via check (but no explanation for why).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-03-2011, 07:16 PM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
I had filed an amended return for last year at the same time I filed this year's return (while I was filling out this year's I realized I had neglected to claim some deductions last year). According to my calculations I was due $90 but this week I received a check for $93.35, with no explanation enclosed. I'm pretty sure the IRS doesn't pay interest on excess taxes paid, which is the only reason I can think of for the difference.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-03-2011, 07:17 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 6,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
I can't remember the timing, but the IRS notifies you of the error (including what you did wrong) either before they send the check or in the same envelope.

I once received a couple $k from some research company I'd never heard of. Called the company named on the check and they thanked me--a bunch of their blanks had been stolen. There was some kind of phishing scam involved that, had I deposited the check, would have compromised my bank account #.
As some others in this thread have said, the explanation often comes later, and in a separate envelope. So the OP should be patient, and expect it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-04-2011, 06:52 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Thanks for the info. I'll wait and see if I get an explanation in the mail soon.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-06-2011, 01:04 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,867
Depending on how you did your taxes, you could also try plugging your numbers into another crunching mechanism (TurboTax vs TaxAct, online vs desktop-hosted, vs paper forms and calculators) and see if anything jumps out at you. Usually the various tools come pretty close but maybe you answered A when you should have answered B somewhere.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.