Taxpayer Identity Theft — Part 17

NOTE: I wrote this post in 2013, so be aware of its age.


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.

The IRS still has not processed Brian and Wendy’s final joint tax return for 2010. Wendy is owed a refund from that tax return and we’re still waiting for that refund to be paid.

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.

You can read the other parts of this series here: 1234567891011,121314, 15, 16


I wanted to follow-up to yesterday’s post with a post talking more about Taxpayer Advocate Services.

Specifically, some readers may wonder why I waited so long to try getting an advocate assigned to the case. One thing that I hadn’t made clear in earlier parts of this series is that Wendy’s case HAD been assigned to an advocate.

Wendy was the one who actually set that up early this year. According to Wendy, the advocate was friendly. He told her about the address issue and how the refund check would be sent to the wrong address, returned to the IRS, and then re-sent to her correct address. This was in January and early February.

Then the advocate dropped off the face of the earth.

Wendy has tried calling him repeatedly. He won’t answer his phone and won’t return calls. I’ve tried calling him, too, with the same result.

My call to TAS earlier this week resulted in me getting yelled at by one advocate for not calling the practitioner hotline instead, and getting gruffly interrupted by the other “advocate” who didn’t want to hear the specifics of Wendy’s case.

So both the IRS and the “advocates” who are supposed to help taxpayers solve problems with the IRS have failed Wendy.