Legal Question in Tax Law in Virginia

I had my taxes done by Liberty Tax services. Somehow they messed up and submitted my direct deposit form and put the wrong bank account number. The IRS put it in the wrong account because that is what the form said. Now, Liberty Tax services admits to the mistake, and we know exactly where the money is. LIberty also told me that by law the Bank was supposed to check the name on the direct deposit before accepting it, the Bank says that these deposits come through automatically and they cannot check it. It is in a bank account in Bank of America, and the IRS even did a trace to prove it. The IRS says that they cannot do a reversal, and to get the money from the bank. I have called the IRS more times than I can count, and they keep telling me that they cannot do it, and that after they did a trace to prove where the money is, it is not Bank of America's responsibility to move the money back.. The Bank says they cannot transfer it without being ordered to do so from the IRS. They said that they called the guy whose account it s in(as he could voluntarily give up the money) but his phone is not working. And even though they know it was a mistake, they said it is illegal for them to touch the money. Bank of America says to go back to Liberty Tax services, and that he IRS is wrong about BOA being responsible. I have been going back and forth between all of these guys and no one wants to help.

NO ONE will take responsibility. Who is responsible for getting me my money back? Please help me.

Asked on 3/24/10, 12:23 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Moseley & Associates Law Firm
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The bank is wrong. The IRS could also be more helpful. But the Bank has an obligation to give it back, especially if the name on the form did not match.

The Bank does NOT need an order from the IRS.

Go to General District Court and get a "WARRANT IN DEBT" form.

Actually, you should probably use a "DETINUE" form (which is old latn / legalese for "gimme back my stuff" -- that is it belongs to you already and you just want it back).

But either one will work. A "DETINUE" form is more proper, but it is rarely used and may be unfamiliar. If you can get a "DETINUE" form, use that.

For about $37 you can sue the Bank. (And you get that back if you win.)

You really should also sue the owner of the account at the same time (2 defendants on the same form). This will cost you another $12 to sue a second defendant.

Ask the Clerk what parts of the form have to be filled out. The clerk's office will NOT give you legal advice. If you ask "What should I do?" they will freeze up and tell you nothing. But if you ask them about the FORM, they will tell you everything you need to know.

Please note that this is a different kind of lawsuit.

In a normal lawsuit you are asking the court to award you money because you have been damaged.

THIS IS DIFFERENT.

Here you are saying that this is ALREADY your money. You just want it back. You are asking to recover your own money. You are NOT asking for damages from any loss or injury or wrong.

However, you could also sue the tax service for screwing up your paperwork and ask them to compensate you for the lost money.... if you have not already gotten it back. (You cannot get the same money back TWICE).

The TRICKY part of suing a big company is properly SERVING them. You will need to check with teh State Corporation Commission if the Bank has a registgered agent in Virginia, or if you ahve to have the Sherriff serve a manager at the branch where the money is.

It is your responsibility to tell the Sherirff WHERE to serve the "lawsuit" (forms).

You must MAIL an extra copy of the "lawsuit" (form) to the defendants, in addition to the official copy that you serve by filing with the clerk.

And you must be prepared to PROVE every part of your case. You cannot use "hearsay" -- "they told me."

You may need to SUBPOENA witneses from the tax service and the IRS -- anyone you talked to who has information that you NEED to prove your case.

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Answered on 3/30/10, 9:58 am

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