I’ve been telling the story of Wendy Boka and the identity theft nightmare she’s going through with the IRS. Her husband Brian died at age 31 in 2010. Someone stole his identity and filed a fraudulent tax return in his name. We’re still waiting for the IRS to sort this out.
Brian and Wendy were native Iowans. After Brian died, Wendy — a widow at age 29 — moved to Texas. The names are real and are used with Wendy’s permission.
Mid-October rolled around, and it was time for my “every 60 days” call with the IRS. Hooray!
There was good news and bad news on this call.
The good news is, the IRS has finally gotten its systems coded correctly to show that Wendy did file a 2010 tax return. They won’t be sending any more “collection” notices to her, and I don’t have to call the collections department every 60 days.
The bad news is, I now have to figure out how to deal with the IRS Identity Theft Unit.
The collections department told me that there was a note in Wendy’s file that the ID Theft Unit had tried calling Wendy recently. Apparently the paperwork we sent to them last fall (that would be, 12 months ago) was missing some information, so they had called Wendy in September of this year — on an old, no-longer-in-service number — to ask her to send that information. The collections department said I should call the ID Theft Unit to find out what was going on.
So I called.
The IRS representative who answered the phone took my information, and then abruptly interrupted me when I started talking about Wendy. She said she had to put me on hold so she could “review the rules about power of attorney.”
I waited on hold for more than 15 minutes before the representative finally came back and told me that the Identity Theft Unit will not, “under any circumstances,” talk to a representative of a taxpayer, even under power of attorney.
I asked what we needed to do to get this wrapped up. I was told that Wendy would need to call. They will only talk to her.
This is utterly ridiculous. I am not dragging my client into this. Wendy is paying ME to handle this. She should not have to make calls. This is an emotional issue for her. It involves her deceased husband – who died 33 months ago. The tax return in question was filed 18 months ago. The information that the ID Theft Unit says is incomplete was sent to them 12+ months ago.
Rather than making my client call the IRS, I am spending this week making phone calls myself and seeing if I can work around the ID Theft Unit and get this resolved.