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We were all robbed

Mark Brooky • Jul 23, 2015 at 1:25 PM

The crooks who filed the bogus return claimed a very large refund when, in fact, we actually owed the IRS.

It took hours on the phone, lots of affidavits to various IRS offices, copies of passports, sworn statements and more for the IRS to establish our identity and accept a valid return from us. But we could only file on paper for that year, not online as we had for many years. As far as we know, the IRS didn't pay a dime of stolen refund money.

But we Michigan taxpayers weren't so lucky. I got a form 1099-G from Michigan showing it had paid a 2013 tax return of more than $3,400. The fact is, we actually owed Michigan several thousand dollars more, plus a penalty, which we paid on the due date.

Upon searching Michigan's online tax site, I found the state accepted two returns with our names last year. In the first to arrive, the bogus return, the state paid a stolen refund of more than $3,400 to a direct deposit account owned by the crooks. The site also shows our valid return.

So, our state tax authorities paid a bundle to crooks.

How can any system accommodate two returns for the same people? Wouldn't that make even the most basic security software go "tilt”? As for we Michigan taxpayers, we were robbed, and it's a good bet the crooks don't even live in our state. Michigan's tax system needs to do better.

J. Mac McClellan

Grand Haven

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