Monday, April 27, 2015


I thought I had heard everything.

A client, a widower who was filing his 2014 return as a Single individual for the first time after the passing of his wife in 2013, sent his return to the IRS on Feb.7th requesting a refund.  No refund ever came.  Finally on April 25th he received a letter from the IRS saying that they had received the return but was unable to process it.  The letter explained –

"Our records indicate that the person identified as the primary taxpayer or spouse on the tax return was deceased prior to the tax year shown on the tax form. Our records are based on the information received from the Social Security Administration. Based on this information, the tax account for the individual has been locked.”

The IRS was writing to the taxpayer to tell him that he is dead and so they were not going to process his refund.

This is very literally the strangest thing I have heard from the IRS or a state tax agency in 44 tax seasons.

A contact number was provided in the letter.  I told the client to call the number and tell the IRS he was not dead.

Earlier I had learned that the IRS had held up the refund of a client’s unmarried college student son because an injured spouse form was attached to the son’s documents and his return was forwarded to that department for processing.  Where the injured spouse form came from is anyone's guess.  Certainly not from me or the taxpayer

I knew that taxpayer service had suffered as a result of the IRS budget cuts – but this is ridiculous.


1 comment:

khigh said...

I have never read Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," but I understand it contains a character named Hotblack Desiato who "spent a year dead for tax reasons."