A Warning About Your Tax Refund

Wednesday, March 5th 2008, 9:22 pm
By: News On 6

There is a warning for those expecting a tax refund this year.  You probably shouldn't have it mailed to you.  The News On 6's Latoya Silmon reports one Tulsa woman says doing so could allow thieves to cash in.

It's a lesson Gloria Kirkpatrick learned the hard way.  She says a thief stole her state tax refund and now she's spreading the word in hopes others won't make the same mistake.  As a teacher Gloria Kirkpatrick is used to having all the answers.

"I do work hard and honestly, I try to do my best," said Gloria Kirkpatrick.

But, after she filed her taxes, she wasn't prepared for what happened next.

"They processed my check on February 15th and somebody cashed the check on Feb 20th.  So, I never received the check.  Evidently, it was stolen," said Gloria Kirkpatrick.

The Spanish teacher says she was at a loss for words.

"I have heard many times that people steal IDs, steal checks, but I never thought that was going to happen to me.  But now, it's like yes, it happened to me," said Gloria Kirkpatrick.

But, the Internal Revenue Service and the Oklahoma Tax Commission say it happens more than Gloria or other people may think, but it's not a rampant problem.  Both agencies say direct deposit is the best defense.

It's a lesson that comes too late for Gloria.

She wrote this letter appealing to the Oklahoma Tax Commission hoping it could give her the more than $300 she had coming her way.  Gloria says she was counting on the money to help pay some bills.

"I don't have a date on when I will receive the check.  They told me maybe two weeks, a week, two weeks, a month, a year?  They didn't promise anything," said Gloria Kirkpatrick.

The state says it has to track down the check, and compare signatures.

Again, it stresses taking the option to have the funds deposited directly into your account.  If you don't have a checking account, the tax commission and IRS recommend keeping a close eye on the mailbox and reporting any problems as soon as possible.