I ran into this question, which has an open bounty. I remembered having answered pretty much exactly the same question here. However, since the question has an open bounty, it cannot be marked as a duplicate (and it would be harsh to the owner of the bounty as well).

At the same time, It would be undesirable (and would no doubt be flagged) to repeat the answer on this question.

Those two seem to clash. I am not the advocate of the owner of the bounty, but theoretically spoken, can a bounty be returned to its owner in such a case?

2 Answers 2


Moderators can refund bounties, but as with every other power they have, it should be used carefully. In this case, I would flag for moderator attention, and let them decide. How can we close questions with bounties?

  • Thanks, I will do that. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 7:01

can a bounty be returned to its owner in such a case?

All bounties are paid for up front and non-refundable under any circumstances.

So that would be: no.

Topic starter should have done more research prior to posting and prior to adding a bounty. It probably is best to let the bounty run its course and then close it. Someone might come up with a new answer independent of the duplicate that is worth a bounty.

I would VTC when the bounty reached its end. Even if there is an answer and if there are answers that differ from yours I would assume -merging- them might be the best option (that would transfer the bounty over to the other question I would assume).

  • Agreed (as usual), but nevertheless a pity for the bonus, especially since OP's question was older then the other one. Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 12:31
  • I have seen a post on one of the stackexchange meta sites indicate, that bounties have been returned in similar cases. So the non-refundable part apparently doesn't apply under all circumstances.
    – kasperd
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 20:44

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