Tax service sends out checks with 'Mickey Mouse,' 'Walt Disney' signatures

Around 176 checks were sent out bearing the dummy signatures

Rhode Island mistakenly sent out hundreds of checks that appeared to be signed by Mickey Mouse and his creator, according to state officials.

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The "test signatures" -- of Walt Disney and the animated character synonymous with Disney Co.'s sprawling entertainment empire -- took the place of required ones from General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and State Controller Peter Keenan on payments from the state's Division of Tax, WPRI reported.

The mishap was due to a “technical error” in the state’s automated refund printing system, Department of Revenue chief of staff Jade Borgeson said in a statement.

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“Approximately 176 checks with invalid signature lines were printed and mailed to taxpayers" on Monday, July 27, Borgeson said. “The invalid signature lines were incorrectly sourced from the division’s test print files.”

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While most of the misprinted payments were for corporate tax refunds, the erroneous signatures also appeared on checks for sales tax rebates and tax credit refunds. The state said the checks have been voided, and it would be sending out corrected versions within a week.

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Borgeson said the division regrets any inconvenience the error may have caused, and taxpayers who believe they received the misprinted checks are urged to reach out to the division at (401) 574-8829, “option 3,” or email at tax.assist@tax.ri.gov.