Get Gephardt: Provo couple fights 2 years for tax refund after a preparer error sends it to stranger

Jun 22, 2023, 10:28 PM | Updated: 11:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Nicole and Scott King had big plans for their refund from their 2021 federal tax return: more family time but in Hawaii. Alas, two years after filing for their nearly $3,000 return, they still don’t have their money. A tax preparer error sent their refund to the wrong place.

“Found out that it went to a different bank, entirely,” Nicole King said. “A different account entirely.”

It was a seemingly honest mistake made by their tax preparer. The money was direct deposited into the account of another of his clients. But two years later, unwinding that mistake has proved impossible.

“When I call the IRS, and they’re laughing at me like, ‘You’re the idiot, lady,’ ” Nicole King said. “I just feel frustrated.”

Despite hours on the phone with the IRS, the bank, and their tax preparer – the Kings had no idea when or even if the tax money owed them would be returned.

“I feel like we’re having to do all the work and not getting any help from anybody,” Scott King said.

“I’ve got to tell you the honest truth, I’ve never had this happen,” said Brad Graham, Scott and Nicole’s former CPA, who is also frustrated.

“Sent a letter to the IRS. Tried to call the IRS,” he said.

Graham explained his other client, the one who received the deposit from the IRS, had the money taken out of her account more than a year ago after the error was reported. Where that money is now, he could not say for sure, but he has also been powerless to get the IRS and the bank on the same page.

“Their job is to send it back to the IRS,” he said. “Which, they didn’t do.”

Well, the IRS refused talk to us about this case at all. So, we reached out to Ally Bank — where the money was sent. It also declined comment, but our messages seemed to have broken the log jam for the Kings. For, shortly after we contacted them, Scott and Nicole King said they heard from the bank. They found the money and have sent it back to the IRS, so a paper check can finally be cut to them.

For better or worse, the IRS does make it known that they largely wash their hands of mistakes. It says in a situation where the money is sent to the wrong account, if the funds are not available or the bank refuses to return the funds, the IRS cannot compel the bank to do so.

You may have to sue the person who got it to get it back.

KSL 5 TV Live

Get Gephardt

Matt Gephardt reviewing the letter sent to Robert Bohman. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps man stuck with an out-of-network bill for a test his insurance pre-authorized

After a Morgan man went for a medical test pre-authorized by his insurance, he was surprised with an out-of-network bill he thought he was covered for. Get Gephardt helped him to sort everything out.

1 day ago

When Daniel Reeder moved into his Bountiful home, he quickly realized its synthetic, membrane roofi...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt helps Bountiful homeowner who says he can’t get roofing company to make warranty repair

When Daniel Reeder moved into his Bountiful home, he quickly realized its synthetic, membrane roofing had a problem. Some of its adhesive began peeling.

2 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt & Cimaron Neugebauer

Bountiful woman left without phone service or answers days after her husband dies

When you pay for a phone service, you expect it to work. But after being unable to make or receive calls despite reaching out to the provider multiple times to fix it – a Utah woman decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

7 days ago

Debra Gamero teaches a student...

Matt Gephardt

The insurance you didn’t know you needed to protect your side hustle

Having a side hustle to bring in extra cash requires determination and hard work. But if you do it without the right insurance policy, you might find an unexpected event could blow up your side hustle along with your finances.

15 days ago

If you drive your car for work and you're in a crash, can your insurance company refuse to pay? Tha...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Rideshare driver says company’s insurance refuses to cover her wrecked car

If you drive your car for work and you're in a crash, can your insurance company refuse to pay? That's the exact issue currently afflicting a Cedar City woman who decided it was time to Get Gephardt, and our Matt Gephardt began investigating.

17 days ago

A Holladay woman received a water bill for over $7,000. After contacting the provider, it wasn't mu...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Homeowner gets $7K water bill for water she says she didn’t use

Imagine opening your mailbox to find a water bill demanding several thousand dollars for just one month’s use of water. It happened to a Holladay woman, she decided to Get Gephardt.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Get Gephardt: Provo couple fights 2 years for tax refund after a preparer error sends it to stranger