Check your tax refund: Arizona preparer finds clients getting less than expected

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Posted at 5:55 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 13:13:03-04

PHOENIX — If you received a tax refund this year, have you looked closely at the amount? One Arizona tax preparer said he is hearing from clients who are getting back less than they should be getting.

TG Lillie has prepared taxes for more than 50 years. But he said this year, he has seen things he has never seen before.

Five of his clients told him they received mysterious refunds. Some of them received checks and some received direct deposits. Yet, none of the refunds were for the amounts TG calculated and all of them were refunds with dollars and cents.

It's that "cents" part of the refund that confuses him. "I've never seen anybody that I know of get a check from the IRS with change," TG said. The IRS usually rounds refunds to the nearest dollar.

He said one of his clients received a $174.44 check deposited into his bank account, far short of the $744 that was expected. Not only that, the man recently found out on the IRS website that the $744 amount should be deposited into his account next week.

So what's going on?

The IRS tells the ABC15 Rebound Team that due to interest paid because of the delays this year, "the amount may include dollars and cents." But, TG said all five of his clients received less money, not more.

And there’s another weird thing. None of the clients received any explanation of why the amount was less, including the man whose refund was more than $500 off. Again, TG said it's a first.

"I've never seen someone get a deposit or check that doesn't come with some kind of explanation," he said. He wonders if it's all one big scam.

The IRS sent us their "Dirty Dozen" scam list. The closest to this scenario involves scammers getting taxpayers' personal information, filing bogus returns and getting refunds deposited. Then the scammer supposedly contacts the person claiming there was an error and demands the money be sent back or some sort of action would be taken.

TG said none of his clients have been contacted and he wants to know who else may be facing a similar situation. "I can't believe out of all tax preparers out there I'm the only one and I have 5 people," he said.

If you have a similar issue, email us at

You can learn more about scams that the IRS is warning about at