One Taxpayer’s Identity Theft Saga – Part 1

NOTE: I wrote this post in 2012.


(This is the first of a multi-part series on one taxpayer’s saga with identity theft and the IRS. I am using the taxpayer’s real name, with her permission. In fact, the taxpayer is going to be blogging about the saga, too.)


Brian Boka was my best friend. We met as roommates our freshman year at Simpson College. We shared many crazy adventures in college, most of which I can’t talk about on a public blog. Let’s just say we lived the typical college life!

Brian and his wife Wendy were my very first paying client. I started my firm in January 2009 with 3 clients. Brian and Wendy were client #1.

I prepared Brian and Wendy’s taxes and met Brian at Rock Bottom Brewery in West Des Moines to return everything to him. This was March of 2009.  I didn’t know that this would be the last time I would see Brian.

There were a few e-mails throughout the year, but that meeting in March 2009 was the last time I would actually see Brian alive.

He died suddenly in January 2010. He was 31 years old.

He left behind his wife, Wendy, who became a widow much too soon at age 29.

Wendy remained a client after Brian’s death, and my role as accountant became more important than ever, to help guide her through the tax aspects of all the financial things that needed done after Brian’s death.

Neither one of us knew that we would still be dealing with Brian’s taxes all these months later.

But we are, because someone stole Brian’s identity after he died and filed a fraudulent tax return using Brian’s name and Social Security Number. This has made a big mess for Wendy and me to deal with.

This is the story of that mess. I’ll be writing from the tax side of things. Wendy will be writing about the emotional side at her “Wendy Rebuilding” blog,

This series will be at least 8 parts long. Part 2 will appear on Wednesday.