View Full Version : Very important - info on getting IRS refunds due inmates

Mother Rain
11-11-2003, 04:50 PM
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

11-11-2003, 04:54 PM
Wow, what great information! Thanks for posting it. I know it's going to be very much appreciated by a lot of people.

11-11-2003, 05:38 PM
Great info Mother Rain! Thank you!

11-11-2003, 06:30 PM
That was a lot of good information. My husband has helped many others inside file their taxes when they come in. It really can help their families! Lots of the guys don't read well or don't have good english language skills and it's great when he can help them get a refund.

11-12-2003, 08:24 AM
Yes, yes, yes. Thanks indeed for the information. Just one thing though. It's not 2 years that you can go's 3. Unless there's some rule regarding inmates, which I don't see why there would be. Lastly...if you have their W-2, you can go online and get the forms and do everything yourself. You can either sign their name or let them do it theirself.


11-14-2003, 03:27 AM
My question is :

What qualifies a Prisoner for filing and what does not?

If a Prisoner has only been earning prison pay - do they pay taxes and are they eligible for filing?

I guess that I am confused with this?

Or are we talking about going back to years that they were working on the outside?

11-14-2003, 08:27 AM
I thought she meant this was for prisoners who hadn't been in long and were filing for tax refunds owed to them from years they worked before they went in.

Mother Rain
11-14-2003, 05:14 PM
This is for any inmate that is in prison... working for the DOC.
They figure out how many hours they worked for the year (((in prison)))) They can only go back 2 years ONLY....
on the 1040EZ form where it asks where you work, you tell them the truth, your working for the (what ever state) department of Corrections AS AN INMATE ???? WHAT EVER THE JOB IS They DO... you times the number of hours by the state you live In's wage... ((((NOT WHAT THE PRISON PAYS THE INMATE)))) BUT WHAT EVER THE MINIMUM WAGE IS IN YOUR STATE... The federal government pays the minimum wage for the inmate... the prison pays the inmate a small wage and pockets the rest...
you can either figure it yourself or where it says do you want the IRS to figure your tax you can say yes...
if your doing yourself, you have to subtract 15% that takes care of what the inmate received and for any taxes to be paid if any....
this is only for the IRS not state refund, because the state refund if there was any the state would keep it for restution...
there is anther form, but I don't know the name, its something you fill out if you don't have a W-2
and you need to send in a letter stating you are incarcerated fin the state of??? and they do not or will not give you a W-2 form.. I hope this helps you... out, it helped my son... one check for 700 and the other year is 1400 +... we are waiting on the 1400 check now...

11-14-2003, 09:41 PM
Dear Mother Rain: thank you SO MUCH for such valuable information. I'm going to see if I can download the 1040EZ from as well as the substitute W-2 form, get the info on what my Honey earned for the previous 2 years, file da buggahs and see what happens.

He doesn't get much money and now that he has a job and is working in a stepdown facility they're going to start taking over 65% of his pay for his rent. So that only leaves 45% for food, snacks, ciggies and personal care items. So if there is a way that I can get more money for him then by all means I'm going to do it. On behalf of my Baby, I'm truly grateful for this info. Much thanks to you.

11-17-2003, 12:39 AM
This has been hitting the Internet like wildfire,but you didn't mention anything about filing the EIC (earned income credit) which is what I was told happened.

SO, I checked into it and this is what I found for the years 2002 and 2003 about EIC (earned income credit)

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 explanatory!
Your son might have gotten lucky for the year of 2001, but, I wouldn't count on the 2002 check for 1400.00. If he does receive a check PLEASE let us know! This is very Interesting!

I have read the 1040EZ Form and I never saw anywhere on it did it ask if you were incarcerated. Hmm? Here is the URL:

Thanks Mother Rain and looking forward to an Update Hun!

PS The special instructions are for those who were in Prison part of the year and worked the rest! At least that is how I took it!

11-17-2003, 12:44 AM
Oh Mother Rain the best part about all of this is now my son can pay for his own DARN RESTITUTION FEE, instead of me!

Thanks AGain Mother Rain this is so interesting!

11-17-2003, 12:10 PM
I sent an E-mail to the IRS and they responded back:

The Answer To Your Question Is:
Thank you for using the e-mail service. There is no special program by the IRS to help prisoners get a refund. However, we may be able to assist him in obtaining W-2 information from previous years. He can contact our office at 1-800-829-1040, and they would be able to assist him there.

IRS forms and publications may be accessed on our web site at the following address: or ordered through our toll-free forms line at:
which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with 7-10 days delivery time.

Other useful toll-free numbers include:
800-829-1040 IRS Tax Help Line for Individuals
(NEW) 800-829-4933 Business and Specialty Tax Help Line
(NEW) 800-829-1954 Refund Hotline

SO, what I am going to try and do is send for his W-2 and see what happens! I will let you guys know!

PS. According to what I have read you must attach this form to the 1040EZ:

11-17-2003, 12:22 PM
i hate to rain on the parade...but...a while back there was a thing going on about blacks being able to get a huge refund for past slavery...these blacks were recieving huge checks and in the end the irs figured it out and made them pay it all back....with penalty and understanding of the tax law is this...if you work and pay taxes you can recieve a refund....notice if you paid taxes....prisons do not take out taxes....therefore you have nothing to draw from...EIC is another thing...but if it is true that inmate pay doesn't count as earned income you have no EIC.....hopefully your son does not get burned...i am going to look into to this further...i know if they worked outside of prison they may be entitled to a refund....if it sounds too good to be true it usually is....

11-17-2003, 12:46 PM
Samiam158, thank you! I do remember my son getting something from SS about him not receiving earned income for the time he has been in Prison. I agree with you, but thought if filing for a W-2 like Mother Rain's son did in a Letter might be worth it to see if this can really be done!

Mother Rain's son was Honest and Upfront said he was in Prison working as an Inmate and the Prison would not give him a W-2. Makes sense but then it doesn't!

I remember about that Slavery issue! And I understand about "If you work and pay Taxes you receive a refund" So, how the heck did Mother Rains Son get money back if they didn't take out Tax's? After all they did the calculations?

I find this all very interesting!
PS I have no hopes for nothing, Just need to kill my curiosity!

11-17-2003, 01:41 PM
he could have been incarcerated after working some and filed back taxes before incarcerated...but i have to say..the people who input information for the irs...and it does have to be inputed because it is paper......don't have a clue to tax laws...most have only take a few hours in classes...and although they could be wrong doesn't mean the irs will not expect their money back if it was given out wrongly...they do it all the saying is ...if i do your taxes and you get back a larger refund than anticipated DO NOT cash the check or at least save the extra..i can check to see if i made a mistake..but do people listen....noooo...they cash the check and when the irs wants their money back they cry about it...and all those doing the slavery thingy were required to pay back the money..the people who filed thier taxes for them were charged with fraud of some sort...and they got a large sum of money for filing for the slavery thing from the clients who filed.....and they were po'ed...but....what can i office says that the incarcerated pay in jail is not taxed and cannot get money from this...also what mom is talking about is filing a substitute w-2...and the only way to do this is if you have worked...outside

11-24-2003, 09:58 AM
samiam158 my office says that the incarcerated pay in jail is not taxed and cannot get money from this
Just wanted to get back on this one! I did call the IRS and they said the same thing as samiam158 said:

If they did not take out Tax's then don't expect anything back!

Also, I do know that the FORM 4852 MUST accompany the 1040 EZ if you do not have a W-2 or 1099. I also asked my son to look into this at the Prison and see what the word is at his Prison!

Hope this Helps!

11-24-2003, 11:30 AM
OKAY, after checking around I found this for 2000 from the IRS:

How Do My Employees Claim the EIC?

Eligible employees claim the EIC on their 2000 tax return. Even employees who have no tax withheld from their pay or owe no tax can claim the EIC and get a refund, but they must file a tax return to do so. For example, if an employee has no tax withheld in 2000 and owes no tax but is eligible for a credit of $797, he or she must file a 2000 tax return to get the $797 refund.

Earned income for this purpose does not include amounts paid to inmates in penal institutions for their work.

11-24-2003, 11:45 AM

Who May Claim the EIC

You may be able to claim the EIC for 2002 if you worked
and all three of the following conditions apply. But you
cannot claim the EIC if you file either Form 2555 or Form
2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income). You also
cannot claim the EIC if you are a nonresident alien for any
part of 2002 unless you are married to a U.S. citizen or
resident and elect to be taxed as a resident alien for the
entire year.

(Continued on back.)

1. Your 2002 earned income and adjusted gross income
are both under $29,201 ($30,201 if married filing jointly) if
you have one qualifying child; under $33,178 ($34,178 if
married filing jointly) if you have more than one qualifying
child; under $11,060 ($12,060 if married filing jointly) if you
do not have a qualifying child.

Note: Earned income for this purpose does not include
amounts paid to inmates in penal institutions for their work and amounts received as a pension or annuity from a
nonqualified deferred compensation plan, a nongovernmental section 457 plan, or nontaxable earned
income. To find out who is a qualifying child, see the
back of this notice.

2. Your filing status is any status except married filing a
separate return.

3. You, and your spouse if filing a joint return, were not
a qualifying child of another person.
If you do not have a qualifying child, you must also
meet these conditions.

 You, or your spouse if filing a joint return, were at least
age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2002.
 You, and your spouse if filing a joint return, cannot be
claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2002 tax return.

If eligible, you can claim the EIC to get a refund even if
you have no tax withheld from your pay or owe no tax. For
example, if you had no tax withheld in 2002 and owe no
tax but are eligible for a credit of $791, you must file a
2002 return to get the $791 refund.

EIC with your pay. If you expect to have a qualifying child
and be eligible to claim the EIC for 2003, you may be able
to get part of it in advance with your pay. For details, get
Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment
Certificate, from your employer, by calling the IRS at
1-800-829-3676, or from the IRS Web Site at If you get the EIC with your pay, you must
file a 2003 tax return.

How To Claim the EIC
If you are eligible, claim the EIC on your 2002 tax return. If
you have a qualifying child, you must also fill in Schedule
EIC and attach it to your return.

11-24-2003, 12:06 PM
I am sorry to say this was announced in May of 2003!

When it is to good to be true, I always try to find out if it really is true! If you want to read the whole article, then check out the URL:

Subsequent sessions of the legislature embellished Boyle's idea with other rebates, including a medical rebate, available to almost all New Mexicans who filed income taxes. Eventually, however, the legislature took back the rebates, claiming to consolidate them, and created the scaled down low-income comprehensive tax rebate (LICTR).

The Attorney General's announced investigation into prisoners and others filing for the credit, which is available as a payment whether you owe taxes or not, could be the last straw of corruption and bureaucratic mishandling, spelling its doom.