Mass. tax refunds unexpectedly withdrawn from thousands of accounts

BOSTON — Thousands of people across the Bay State had their tax returns deposited into their bank accounts only to be withdrawn shortly thereafter.

The Department of Revenue has acknowledged the issue, but many residents are demanding answers after the unexpected withdrawal caused accounts to overdraft.

"It was a little strange, a bit baffling to see the state had deposited and then taken away the money that was given to us," Bellingham firefighter Mark Lister said.

Lister said he got a return of $633 deposited into his account, only to have it taken out soon after.

"There's confusion, you don’t know what’s going on or why, or if maybe you did something wrong on your end," he said.

The Department of Revenue admits the problem on its website, citing a refund-processing issue -- in which a set of refunds was released to taxpayer bank accounts and subsequently reversed -- is being addressed.

However, hat still hasn’t been determined is whether taxpayers who were assessed overdraft fees because of the glitch will have them reimbursed.

"You pay your taxes, do everything you're supposed to do, get a little reward when you do tax returns. When you have it taken away is not the best feeling in the world," Lister said.

Lister said that’s exactly how he’s feeling, and for the past week, he’s been in a holding pattern waiting for answers from his bank.

"It's kind of hard to trust at this point, knowing they just took it without asking," he said. "But you know with the amount of people affected, I’m sure they've received several calls and complaints, so I think they'd try and correct it as soon as possible."

Gov. Charlie Baker said he expects to have the money back in the accounts of impacted customers by the end of the week.

"The Department of Revenue had a tech glitch that was associated with this, basically the money's going to be released by the end of the week," he said.

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