I had to do a little something for my job and I was supposed to get paid for that later. I spent some $30. I noticed that the money is refunded in the last pay-stub but obviously it was not the same amount although it looks like it is.
When you're refunded, the money is considered income and taxes are applied. So you get less than what you've spent. Simple as that!
(Photo: Capitalism gets back most of what it gives you, forcefully!)