Taxpayer Identity Theft — Part 9

NOTE: I wrote this post in 2012, 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.

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: 1234567, 8


As documented in Part 8, the Identity Theft Unit won’t talk to practitioners, even under power of attorney. They told me Wendy would need to call. I didn’t really want to drag her into this, so I tried calling the IRS “practitioner hotline” to see if they could help.

Of course, they couldn’t.

They told me the same thing — Wendy would need to call the Identity Theft Unit. “Because there might be information that she hasn’t told you,” was the reason the representative on the practitioner line gave me.

The IRS’s logic on this escapes me. But whatever. I had to get Wendy involved.

Friday Call, Part 1

We got on a conference call and called the Identity Theft Unit on Friday morning.

What a fiasco.

The IRS representative took my information and Wendy’s information, and then put us on hold. After a lengthy delay, we had to give the rep information about Brian. This led to another lengthy wait on hold.

The rep finally came back and said her system was down and she was unable to access any information. We would need to call back and hope that our call got routed to a call center in a different location, where maybe the computers would be working.

It’s not like Wendy and I have anything better to do with our time than call the IRS, sit on hold forever listening to annoying piano music, deal with a rep who can’t help us and then have to call back and sit on hold forever again just to try to find answers about a tax return that was filed 18 months ago. So, sure, why not try calling again?

I’ll detail that call in Part 10, also set for publication today.