5

I received my US federal tax return earlier this month. When I first looked at the check, I noticed it had a % symbol, followed by my mother's name on the line below the one with my name. It looks like:

MY NAME
% MOTHER'S NAME
111 EXAMPLE ROAD
AUSTIN TX 99999 9999

I thought this was odd, so I called my mother that evening, and she agreed that It was strange. I didn't think much of it until I tried to cash the check at Walmart, and they said I needed her present to do so.

Quick facts:

  • We both have the same mailing address
  • I filed as 'single' (I know this for a fact)
  • I received, and cashed without incident, my federal return last year (I do not recall if my mother's name was on the check).
  • My mother has not filed her federal taxes this year.
  • She claims (though I have no 1st hand materials by which to verify) that she did not claim me as a dependent last year.

My questions are as follows:

  • What can I do to get this check cashed?

Walmart wants her there in person with photo ID. We do not get along and only speak on occasion however, so this seems unlikely. I am going to take it to a bank tomorrow to open an account with and see if they take it.

  • Why?

I don't expect any IRS employees on this forum, but any info on what this means, how this happened, and/or how to prevent it would be greatly appreciated.

  • 6
    Just to clarify, it appears that what you got is a tax REFUND. The tax return is the form(s) you send in - F1040 and so on. – jamesqf Feb 24 '15 at 3:51
  • How does your mom pay for her living expenses if she didn't have any income? I have a guess here, but please provide some more info... – littleadv Feb 24 '15 at 4:44
  • BTW: the bank won't take it without your mom present. – littleadv Feb 24 '15 at 4:45
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    @BenMiller: Yes. On typewriters, the % key was, in fact, often used as a "ligature" for c/o and I presume that's the intent here. – keshlam May 27 '15 at 1:23
  • Had the same thing happen with my son. He dose not have a bank account and therefore went to Walmart. They made my husband come in even though I told them the % sign only meant "in care of." – user40957 Apr 11 '16 at 17:11
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The percent sign stands for "C/O", which means "Care Of." Care Of is just a part of a mailing address when you are addressing a letter to someone at someone else's house. With windowed envelopes, the entire mailing address is printed on the face of the check.

This is not a 2 party check; your mother's name is a part of your address. Try a real bank instead of Walmart, and see what they say. You should be able to cash it without your mother's cooperation.

-1

My son received his check today and between his name and his father's name is a "%" symbol. I called our credit union today and they said our son only need be present to cash and/or deposit it. We did claim our son as a dependent so I'm figuring that is why that symbol is there. That or because my husband filled out the forms and filed them.

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    Probably the latter. – keshlam Jun 25 '15 at 23:57

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