Woman Can’t Get Tax Refund Because IRS Says She’s Dead
PISCATAWAY, NJ (WPIX) – New Jersey resident Jeanette Carpenter is alive and well. But according to the Internal Revenue Service, she’s dead.
“My social security number belongs to a deceased person,” Carpenter said.
When Carpenter filed his 2020 taxes, his accountant received an unusual notice in return. Carpenter’s social security number belonged to someone who died.
“I asked them if they were confusing me with my husband who died in 2009 and they said no,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter’s accountant filed twice more and got the same response. “What baffles me is that I work for the government,” Carpenter said.
So Carpenter went to her local IRS office and filed a new application in person, on paper. She said she was told everything was fine and she would be back in six to 12 weeks. However, she is still waiting.
In April, Carpenter tried her luck with the Social Security Administration and received an official letter confirming her status as alive. But weeks later, she received a letter from the IRS saying her taxes couldn’t be processed because she was deceased.
Carpenter said an IRS employee told him on the phone that his Social Security number had been marked in 2010 as belonging to a deceased person and the system was just catching up. She said it was never a problem when she was the one who owed money.
“I owed $1,300 in 2018. I put it in my account, woke up two days later, and the IRS took the $1,300 they were owed,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter needs the money from her reimbursement to catch up on medical bills from a major surgery that left her out of work for four months in 2020.
Three weeks ago, she again filed her statement in person. She said an employee promised to do it overnight to the government. It was the last she heard.
“There’s nothing. I can’t reach them. I’m on a long wait and then they hang up. I haven’t received any of my stimulus checks. I can’t deposit my 2021 [taxes] until i see what they are going to do with the 2020 [taxes]. But I am alive, alive in color,” Carpenter said.
WPIX contacted the Social Security Administration about Carpenter’s situation, but did not receive a response. The IRS has said that federal employees cannot disclose tax return information.
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