Tax refund fraud is a big problem, and the IRS is doing everything possible to prevent it. The Journal of Accountancy reported recently that, because much of the fraud involves criminals getting refund direct deposits sent to their own accounts, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration recommended that the IRS limit the number of refunds that can be deposited into a single account.
Beginning January 2015, there will be a limit of three electronic direct deposits of refunds to a single account or debit card. Large households with more than three refunds going into a single family account will need to either set up separate accounts for the individuals or receive the rest of the refunds (over the three refund limit) by paper checks. In order for a refund to be directly deposited, it must be going to an account bearing the taxpayer’s name.
The IRS also points out that tax preparers are not allowed to receive payment of their fees by submitting a joint Form 8888 to split refunds with taxpayers, and they aren’t allowed to have their clients’s refunds deposited into their own accounts.