A tax refund mix-up and it's not even tax season yet?

A local woman reached out to 11Alive's newsroom asking up to hold the Georgia Department of Revenue accountable and help her get answers about a suspicious check she received.

Alexis Swann said the unexpected check she got in the mail had her puzzled. Why in the world would the department of revenue send her money from a previous tax year?

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"When I open it up, I see a check for $5,390," Swann said. "At the bottom, it says individual tax refund 2005."

She wondered if this was a mistake, so she called the Georgia Department of Revenue and was told to send the check back immediately.

"And although I really wanted to deposit it, I said I better give them a call and find out what's going on," she said. "I need more information."

Swann said she was told not to cash it.

"Well, if you do, we're going to audit you, so you'll need to send that back," she said quoting an unknown person speaking for the state's department of revenue.

But things changed once 11Alive got involved. She now tells us she got a call that the money was hers to keep.

So we reached out to the revenue department to ask what the mixup was all about. A spokesperson sent a statement that read:

"A letter will follow each check describing the nature of the refund. If a taxpayer has any additional questions regarding the validity of a check received from the Department, we encourage them to contact the Department, speak with a Revenue Agent and document their call."

11Alive asked how many more checks have been issued from previous years - and why - but have received no answers from the Georgia Department of Revenue. But Swann said she's thankful she reached out to us to clarify the situation - and whether it was her money or a glitch.

"For people who are living paycheck to paycheck, that's not fair," Swann said.