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August 18, 2021

TAS Tax Tip: Returning a Refund, Economic Impact Payment, or Advance Payment of the Child Tax Credit

If for some reason, you believe you are not due a refund that was sent, you can void or repay those amounts.

Before you return any IRS refund or payment, double check that isn’t due to you, by either:

  • Reviewing the IRS notice provided (the notice includes an explanation of why your account was adjusted, how it was calculated, and generally includes a specific toll-free telephone number in case you require further assistance – additional information about the notice can also be found at), Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter | Internal Revenue Service

or

See our article titled Got a direct deposit refund from the IRS, but not sure what it is for? for help with identifying what the amount is being sent for.

If, after verifying that you should not be receiving the refund or payment, you want to return it, follow the instructions below:

Refund or payment was received as a direct deposit

  • To return it electronically:
  1. Contact the Automated Clearing House (ACH) department of the bank/financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS.
  2. Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
  • To repay it using a check or money order:

Repay the amount by making your payment payable to “U.S. Treasury” and put the following on the memo line of your check or money order:

  • the tax year it applies to,
  • your social security number or other tax identification number, plus
  • short explanation (abbreviation) of what the refund or payment was originally paid for (For example: Payment of Erroneous Refund, AdvCTC or 2020 EIP3)

You should also include a separate note of why you are submitting the repayment. This way, the IRS knows where to apply the credit accurately. Ensure that you mail the check or money order to the correct IRS address .

Note: If you no longer have access to a copy of the check, call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) (see telephone and local assistance for hours of operation) and explain to the assistor that you need information to repay a cashed refund check.

Refund or payment was received as a paper check and hasn’t been cashed

  1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Submit the check immediately, but no later than 21 days, to the appropriate IRS location. Note: The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) shown on the bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check.
  3. Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating: “Return of erroneous refund check” and give a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund check.

Refund or payment was received as a paper check and has been cashed

Follow the instructions above under, Refund or payment was received as a direct deposit & To repay it using a check or money order.

EIP received as a Debit Card

If you received your EIP as a debit card and want to return the money to the IRS and NOT have the payment re-issued, send the card along with a brief explanation stating you don’t want the payment and do not want the payment re-issued to:

Money Network Cardholder Services
2900 Westside Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Important

Before voiding or returning any refund or payment, review the additional information below too.

Failure to take the actions listed above when repaying an amount may result in misapplication of the money. This may then create an additional erroneous refund or require the IRS to correspond with you to apply it properly.

For additional IRS help, see the Let Us Help You page.