Tax refund missing due to 'one digit off'

Posted: Updated:
Cristina Allen said she messed up putting in her bank account when filing her taxes and now she doesn't have her refund. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Cristina Allen said she messed up putting in her bank account when filing her taxes and now she doesn't have her refund. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Since March, Allen has been on a merry-go-round trying to get the situation resolved, so she contacted 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Since March, Allen has been on a merry-go-round trying to get the situation resolved, so she contacted 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"Everybody's human, everybody makes mistakes. We're not numbers, we're human," Allen said. (Source: 3TV) "Everybody's human, everybody makes mistakes. We're not numbers, we're human," Allen said. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Like many parents across the Valley, Cristina Allen sure could use some time off from the daily grind.

"I need a vacation really bad," she recently told 3 On Your Side.

A vacation not only for this single mom but also her three boys.

"The kids need it, I need it. It would have been nice," she said.

Allen says she's taken the boys on little getaways before which created great memories.

And now, she wanted to take them to San Diego and was depending on her tax refund to make that happen.

[SPECIAL SECTION: 3 On Your Side]

But, that refund never arrived.

"Yeah, it’s about a $4,000 refund," Allen said.

Her problem started when she filed her federal and state taxes last March. She was expecting a refund for around $3,675 from the federal government and $362 from the state of Arizona for a total of $4,037.

But while using Turbo Tax to file her taxes herself, she inadvertently made a huge mistake.

"I accidentally left a digit off my account number," she said.

Allen banks at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and her account has nine digits. However, when she filed her taxes, she unknowingly left off the first digit to her account. 

As a result, the Internal Revenue Service along with the Arizona Department State of Revenue deposited her refund into the wrong account.

Allen says she was upset with herself and contacted Chase to see what could be done.

"I requested if there was anything they could do to pull the money out. They indicated that I needed to contact the state and federal and have them recall the money," Allen said.

Since March, Allen has been on a merry-go-round trying to get the situation resolved, so she contacted 3 On Your Side.

"I’m hoping that maybe you guys can help me in figuring this out," Allen said.

For starters, 3 On Your Side contacted the Arizona Department of Revenue which agreed to immediately investigate the matter for us. And, Chase bank was also eager to look into the matter for us. Their investigations continue.

In the meantime, 3 On Your Side is attempting to get the IRS involved to see what they can do to get Allen’s money back.

Allen says she's glad she has 3 On Your Side in the mix and hopes we can get her $4,037 refund to her soon.

"Everybody's human, everybody makes mistakes. We're not numbers, we're human," she told us.

The Arizona Department of Revenue along with Chase have both been extremely responsive in trying to retrieve the money and to make things right.

However, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t seem to be very helpful at all at this point. In fact, the Phoenix media contact for the IRS hasn’t returned 3 On Your Side’s numerous emails or phone calls. So, 3 On Your Side is attempting to navigate through the agency in other ways to help Allen.

When there’s an update, we’ll let you know.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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