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It’s probably not surprising that the inner workings of the way tax returns are turned into tax refunds are opaque to most taxpayers – it’s a complicated process, after all.

In the absence of knowledge, however, many taxpayers substitute guesses, rumors, wishful thinking and worse, buying into a set of myths that end up having to be debunked almost every year – whether by IRS staff, or by paid tax preparers who have to explain why the taxpayer was misled by what their cousin heard from that guy at the gym.

Here is a set of particularly pernicious myths that the IRS has singled out to help clear the air.