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IRS.gov Website
Rev. date: 07/10/2014


Returning an Erroneous Refund – Paper Check or Direct Deposit

Tax Topic 161
rule
If your refund was a paper refund check and the Treasury check has not been cashed:
  1. Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Submit the check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below. The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) on the second 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 because (and give a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund check)."
If your refund was a paper refund check and the Treasury check has been cashed:
  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below. The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) on the second text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check.
  2. Write on the check/money order: Payment of Erroneous Refund, the tax period for which the refund was issued and your social security number.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund.
  4. Repaying an erroneous refund in this manner may result in interest due the IRS.
If your refund was a direct deposit:
  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 Internal Revenue Service.
  2. Call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040 to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
When the amount of the refund (paper check or direct deposit) is different than what was expected, indicating the IRS changed the amount, a notice explaining the adjustment is mailed to your address of record. Please review the information in the notice to determine if the change to the refund is correct. A toll free telephone number is included on the notice in case you require further assistance.
IRS mailing addresses based on the city (possibly abbreviated) located on the second text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check: