Missing tax refund, Ruth to the Rescue responds

Tax refund mixup, what went wrong?

DETROIT - Each tax season, many of you probably anxiously await your tax refunds. Imagine if that refund never showed up. It happened to Justin Ash of Eastpointe.

"It was hard. I was waiting for that money to pay for some extra classes for school," Ash told Ruth to the Rescue.

Justin Ash says he went to an H&R Block office in Eastpointe to have his 2012 taxes done last year. He'd used the office the year before, and everything went well. He paid for the service, signed the returns, and waited for his $553 refund to show up in his bank account. It never did, so he did some digging.

"The bank pointed their finger at H&R Block, and H&R Block said they would look into it," said Ash

As Ash reviewed the situation, he says his tax preparer entered the wrong account number on his tax return and the money went into the wrong account. The bank advised Ash to follow up with H&R Block, which he did, for almost a year.

"They just kept giving me the runaround. It's like I'd call, they'd tell me it should be a couple days. Then, they'd have to pass it on to somebody else," he told Ruth to the Rescue. In recent weeks, Ash said he was calling H&R Block almost daily to inquire about when he'd receive his refund.

"It was just absolutely frustrating. Like I said, it's been a year of him trying to get ahold of somebody to give him some sort of answer," said Mary Kay Ash, Justin's mother.

It was actually Ash's mother who contacted Ruth to the Rescue. Just hours after the consumer unit contacted H&R Block, Justin Ash says two district managers from H&R Block brought him a prepaid debit card for $673. His entire refund, plus his fees and $20 for ATM charges.

"It was awesome. Thank you very much. I wouldn't have my money if it wasn't for you," Ash told Ruth to the Rescue.

It was a sentiment his mother echoed, "It happened so quick-- and it was taken care of in less than 24 hours, so thank you Ruth to the Rescue!"

In addition to being thankful, Ash says he learned a lesson, he'd like to share with all of you. "I know better this year to double check and triple check everything," he said.

That's definitely a lesson every taxpayer should take to heart. Remember, even if you pay someone to do your taxes, YOU are responsible for the information on that return. In this case, it was an incorrect account number, but if any incorrect information might affect your deductions, the IRS will come after you, not your taxpayer.

If you have a consumer problem you think Ruth to the Rescue should investigation, you can email ruthtotherescue@clickondetroit.com or call 313-298-WDIV.

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