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Josmar Taveras, USA TODAY
If your tax refund comes in double the amount you were expecting, you might want to hold off before planning a shopping spree.
Nearly 66,000 Louisiana taxpayers who recently received bigger state refunds are finding out it was an accident, not a windfall.
According to WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has accidentally paid double tax refunds amounting to almost $26 million.
Division of Administration spokesman Jacques Berry told the CBS-affiliate that the state is in the process of trying to recover the money. The duplicate refunds were discovered Wednesday, Berry said.
Most of the refunds were sent by direct deposit, and banks are being contacted to reverse the overages. A small amount of the refunds were placed on debit cards and those amounts are being “backed out,” Berry told WAFB.
Berry urged anyone who received a larger refund than what they are actually due to not spend the money, WAFB reported.
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For federal taxes, the average 2019 tax refund issued in the first five weeks of the filing season rose to $3,068, up 0.7 percent from $3,036 at the same time last year. The IRS has issued about 46.4 million total refunds. That’s more than 2 million fewer, or down 4.2 percent, from last year.
The Internal Revenue Service began accepting returns on Jan. 28. Most taxpayers have until April 15 to file their returns.
While financial experts say it’s smarter to receive bigger paychecks during the year rather than a refund, that’s not what most Americans do. About seven in 10 typically get a refund, which may help sustain the financially flawed practice.
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Contributing: Janna Herron
Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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