Can a return be started if an item has been refunded in Shopify?

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Good question. Very good.
In this case, the answer is no (and we hate saying no to you).
Refunded and Canceled items are subtracted from the quantity that the customer can return. So, let's say that the customer ordered 1 item. This item has been refunded by Customer Support in Shopify. Any attempt to initiate a return for that item will be blocked in Rich Returns, because this has already been refunded.