The Scary Letter

3 Mar

I noticed it as Lucy and I mounted the steps from the street. A white envelope lay on the stoop. Weird, I thought, Maybe it is the misdelivered mail I meant to drop in a mailbox yesterday then, couldn’t find. As I picked it up I knew I was mistaken. This envelope was much thinner, and it bore my name and address, not the mistaken one. Another misdelivered letter, I assumed, wondering why my neighbor placed on my stoop and not through my mailbox slot. I looked more carefully at the envelope. The return address  and logo made my heart stop: The IRS!


I filed my taxes the first week in February. I’d received my State refund already, but I’ve been checking daily for my Federal refund. I bet they want to audit me, I muttered as I nervously tore open the envelope. As I read I relaxed a bit. They weren’t asking to audit me. They wanted me to verify my identity before processing my refund.

My habit, when Lucy and I return, is to change quickly into my school clothes and leave for school right away. Some days, Lucy is anxious in the morning when I leave, so I try to make it quick and business-like. My computer is shut down and my school bag packed before we set off for her morning constitutional. I knew I would have to wait until I got to school to do anything. I grabbed the items I’d need for the phone call and quickly stuffed them in my new school bag, thanking my father for teaching me to keep tidy income tax files.

I worried the entire 30 minute drive to work. Is this letter a scam? Can I Ask the IRS to prove that they are the IRS?  Once I arrived at school, I booted up my computer to do a little research about this letter before calling anyone, (you can’t be too careful these days) and I learned that this is a real thing. They send different letters for different purposes and my letter was legit. So I called.

Say what you will about the IRS, I got the most charming woman on the phone. We had a lovely chat and got everything taken care of in a few minutes. Then she said the words that gave me pause, “Your refund should be processed with in nine weeks.” And she told me what to do it I hadn’t received it by then.

Dang! I’d hoped to have the refund sooner, but I suppose I should be happy that the IRS is taking additional steps to prevent identity theft. I still feel a little worried that this might have been the slickest fraud job ever. I won’t truly relax about it until I receive my refund. This is going to be a long nine weeks.



10 Responses to “The Scary Letter”

  1. elsie March 3, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    I hope you get your refund quickly. You can never be too careful with so many scammers out there trying to steal hard working people’s money.

  2. Judy C. March 3, 2017 at 7:06 am #

    At least we know that our tax dollars are working to protect us. Hopefully the “nine weeks” is just a date and that you will soon get the check. Good luck.

  3. arjeha March 3, 2017 at 7:56 am #

    It is amazing how seeing the return address on some letters can make us sweat. Glad things went smoothly and you checked before calling. As you say, you can never be sure,

  4. Terje March 3, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    Good that it was only a verification letter. I am lucky that in Estonia we do taxes digitally and refunds come in less than a month.

  5. terierrol March 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    So happy for you that things worked out okay. Hopefully your refund comes early.

  6. JudyK March 3, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    I would have had those same feelings of dread if I had gotten that letter! My son and daughter-in-law received a letter like that, and their refund was held up for the same reason. They HAVE since received their refund, so I’m thinking that everything is going to work out just fine for you, too. 😀 JudyK

    • Adrienne March 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

      That makes me feel a lot better. It is sad that we all have to be so suspicious.

  7. Lisa C March 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    Thank goodness it was (relatively) good news! IRS letters are scary. I would have worried about legitimacy too. It’s good that we all know to be suspicious now!

  8. Brian Rozinsky March 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    What a roller-coaster ride, and it’s not done yet… Sounds like you’ve made it through the bumpiest bit.


  1. Patience rewarded | booksandbassets - March 17, 2017

    […] But I can’t pretend I haven’t been a little anxious since I received (and responded to) the letter from the IRS. […]

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