View Full Version : Prisoners filing for Income Tax Refunds???

11-13-2003, 05:39 PM
The information below arrived in my email inbox. I don't know why I occasionally receive email from this person but I do. I don't know if this information has any truth to it or not? This is why I am posting it here to see what everyone on PTO thinks about this??? Thoughts??? Is this real???

This is very important news to all....
Let me start out and say that Last month my son was all excited about the prospect of receiving money from the federal government by filling income taxes ....because others in his unit had done this and received money...
Now as his mother, and as this seemed to good to be true, I told him not to count on it...
Well, he did this all on his own... he contacted the IRS and asked them to send (((form1040EZ) on this form it asks if you are incarcerated... Jimmy filled out this form and wrote a letter in it, stating he was incarcerated in Cal and the prison would not help him or give him any information.. and he hoped the IRS would write him one away or anther to let him know if he was entitled to this money...
Jimmy also states that when he first interred the system they make you sign your rights away for any money that might be owned to you....
come to find out what your signing is if you work and have a pay number and get money while incarcerated, the system can file for you and they keep the money...
Well, today Jimmy got his first check, for 700 and something for the year 2001....... his 2002 check will be arriving soon and its 1400 and something...
in this 1040EZ it asks if you want this check sent to the prison or to someone was sent to my daughter
So the reason I am telling you all this is because to me, this means that anyone incarcerated in the United States that has a pay number can file this form 1040EZ and get what is due them...
so if your loved one has worked and received any money, please send for this 1040EZ and send it to them so they can file... The prison Jimmy is at would not give him his pay number that was listed in his file so he could not put that on the form, but the IRS can get that information straight from the prison... when he had moved to the new prison he thru away his papers that had his number on it, and is lucky it all worked out for him... Now he did not file the state one because any money he might have gotten, the state would have kept for his incarceration...
I hope this information helps some one and please pass the word.......
Jimmy says you can only do this back by 2 years...Rain

11-13-2003, 07:11 PM
I'm familiar with one case - Some guys tried this in Michigan..... the woman they talked into accepting their checks was sternly warned by the IRS that what she was doing is illegal... they were kind enough to NOT prosecute her.

The inmates involved with her had to pay the money back, lost all of their good time and were considered security risks so they were sent to higher secruity prisons. This happened 3 years ago and to the best of my knowledge - at least 2 of the inmates are still in higher security prisons.

mrs. d

11-13-2003, 07:18 PM
I don't understand-----if the IRS does this, how can it be illegal? If they're just filing on money that's owed to them, the IRS knows that, don't they? Wouldn't they be the first ones to say it wasn't legal? I'm confused now.

By the way, I'm glad to see you're feeling better, MrsD. I miss you.

11-13-2003, 07:35 PM
thanks toi... In the case I know about...all of these men had been in prison for more than 5 years, none of them had earned any money other than prison pay.

It is confusing!!!

mrs. d

11-13-2003, 07:37 PM

11-13-2003, 08:52 PM
I consulted with several Attoneys and the IRS before my fiance's taxes were filed. They all told me I could file on his behalf and gave me the form to use. Don't have it handy but it is legal. My fiance worked in 2001 and part of 2002 and then was incarcerated the later part of 2002. With the help of the IRS and Attorneys I did file and he got his refund. I deposited it into our bank and only sent him what he asked for.

11-13-2003, 09:05 PM
I filed (for part of 2002 year)for my guy through state and federal power of attorney forms, I sent him the forms, and he checked off what his power attorney could do with checks, I received them, and signed them. They became mine, not his, I send what he wants. Is this what we are talking about here? I wasn't sure.

11-14-2003, 03:18 AM
'twas also posted on PTO 11/11/03:

11-14-2003, 06:55 AM
the only thing illegal about filing taxes for inmates that NO one should sign their names unless they have power of attorney...but yes..i plan to file for my son cause he did work 3 months and should get a little something back..but i will mail his forms to him for him to sign...

11-14-2003, 08:54 AM
There's a difference between filing for taxes for an inmate JUST incarcerated and had paid taxes from his employment prior to inceration...

Then there's the scammers such as I mentioned.. people who had been in prison for several years, had NOT paid any taxes due to being incarcerated and filed anyway. That is why they got into trouble. I wish I still had contact with the woman involved... I'll look to see if I still have her phone number and can get more information from her.

mrs. d

11-17-2003, 01:17 AM
This has been hitting the Internet like wildfire! SO, I checked into it and this is what I found for the years 2002 and 2003.

Click here:

Special instructions for clergy, prison inmates, and deferred compensation plans.

Use the following special instructions if one of the following situations applies to you.

Inmates. If you were an inmate in a penal institution and the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ) includes an amount paid to you for work you performed while an inmate, print “PRI” and the amount paid on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the
right of the words “W–2 form(s)” on line 1 (Form 1040EZ).

Earnings while an inmate. Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income when figuring the earned income credit. This includes amounts received through a work release program or while in a halfway house.

SO, as you can see the last paragraph is SELF EXPLANATORY!

PS The special instructions are for those who were in Prison part of the year and worked the rest!

12-11-2003, 02:47 PM
Ok I have a question for everyone. I was just married the 8th of December and my husband has been in prison for 3 years. He has never filed taxes in his life and he is 34 years old. Now I want to file Married Jointly. Should I? or should I wait and let him file this year, so he can get it all straightened out then file jointly next year? Any advice would be appreciated.

12-12-2003, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the information on these posts. My guy is only going to file his taxes for the work that he's been getting paid for while working outside of the stepdown facility and not for the work he did while inside. I think that seems fair enough, since he didn't pay taxes while working inside.

12-15-2003, 10:03 PM
Bertsluv - becareful if he has any offset it will come out of your refund. Meaning if he may owe any court fees or child support or federal loans or back taxes they will take your refund unless you file an injured spouse. Also depending on the state you live in you may not be able to file joint due to him being in prison

AS far as an inmate filing taxes - if they have money that they earned on the outside going back to 2001 they can file a return if they don't have their information like anyone else they can have the IRS file the return for them by filing out just he heading on the return. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT BEFORE YOU SUGGEST THIS TO YOUR LOVE ONE YOU OR HIM/SHE CHECKS WITH THE PRISON - SOME PRISONS HAVE SOMEONE WHO WILL PREPARE THE TAX RETURNS AND THE REFUNDS ARE HANDLED DIFFERENTLY. THE IRS WILL NOT ISSURE A CHECK IN ANOTHER PARTIES NAME UNLESS THEY HAVE POWER OF ATTORNEY. SOME PRISONS WILL NOT ALLOW A REFUND CHECK TO BE SENT TO A INMATE.

I have worked for H&R Block as a tax specialist for the past 4 years i have seen MANY things that the IRS has done wrong - just because they let it happen does not mean it is correct or they will not send a OOPS letter later asking for the money back. PLEASE BE CARE IT IS NOT FUN TO DEBATE WITH THE IRS OR WHEN THEY AUDIT YOU.

12-15-2003, 11:12 PM
I filed income tax the whole time I was in prison (work release) I was not able to file head of house hold or anything like that. But, I did file and I sent it home. Had it brought to me on visitation. I signed the check. It was cashed and placed on my books as needed.


12-16-2003, 12:25 PM
D-girl: AS far as an inmate filing taxes - if they have money that they earned on the outside going back to 2001 they can file a return if they don't have their information like anyone else they can have the IRS file the return for them by filing out just he heading on the return.

Thanks D-girl!

The key here is let the IRS do it!

If you put an estimated amount on Line 1 (wages) thinking you worked as an Inmate Porter and received 20 bucks a month and the prison will not give you a 1099, but, you figured that at 6.75 an hour 40 hrs a week was a fair Figure, you could be charged with Fraud if you put an amount that they see as pulling the wool over their eyes.

I am very confused why the state of California does not let prisoners know exactly what they are paid and what is taken out. I have read that the law in CA. is they are getting paid min. of 6.75 an hour and restitution, tax's and rooom and board, and child support are taken out. CDC takes the rest AND that is why they end up with 20 bucks (13 cents an hour)

I still have not heard from CDC about this being correct information. I will keep digging and see what becomes of this. I have suggested to my son to just fill out the top part and leave the rest blank and see what happens. I read at the IRS Website, you can not send in questions along with any form. It must be done separately!