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Filing taxes is something most people do every year, and it shouldn’t be overly complicated for the vast majority of Americans. But for Jeanette Carpenter the problem is that the IRS thinks she’s dead. She found out about her status when she tried to file her 2020 taxes, and the IRS sent her a notice that her social security number belongs to someone listed as deceased. She tried refiling two more times, but had the same problem.
Carpenter went to the Social Security Administration and got a statement saying she was, in fact, very much alive. That apparently wasn’t enough for the IRS, who still insists she’s dead. That’s caused a problem with her 2021 taxes, as well, and she hasn’t received a refund for 2021 or for her original 2020 tax filing.
Not only does Carpenter have an accountant handling her taxes, but she works for the government. While her husband passed away in 2009, the IRS insists they aren’t confusing the two of them. The local IRS office let her refile in person and said things looked fine, but she’s still waiting for a refund. According to an IRS agent she spoke with on the phone, her social security number was marked as belonging to a deceased person in 2010, and it’s taken this long for the system to catch up.
Of course, Carpenter pointed out that she owed money in 2018 and the IRS didn’t have any problem taking that money from her account. She apparently wasn’t listed as deceased at that point. In the meantime, she had major surgery in 2020 and was out of work for four months. She has medical bills she intended to pay with her tax refund, but right now, she’s still playing the waiting game.
Creating or updating your estate plan to reflect your wishes as your life changes can help ensure those wishes will be honored when you die or become incapacitated. To learn more, contact The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center today!