Dad Still Dead but No Longer Alone

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Do you know how, when you hear a story about someone else’s suffering, that is so ridiculous, and you just have to laugh? Well the only problem with this story is that it is happening to us.

With another tax season in the lurch, we were at a bit of a loss in our battle with the IRS. Our Ohio tax advocate is hard at work, but we are still hitting the same brick walls we have for months. According to the IRS, my 94 years old WW2 veteran father is still listed as deceased. They still have no problem accepting his checks (signed by the dead man). It’s just his 2013 tax return that their system can’t tolerate. Recently, if this whole story isn’t strange enough, we received a query from another branch of the IRS, questioning why there is a credit balance of nearly $14,000 in dad’s account (his 2014 tax prepayment), when they are unable to find his 2013 tax return. Mmmm….that’s a stumper. Apparently, the IRS doesn’t even talk to themselves.

Well, recently, our efforts may have received a little boost. In what, in football terminology would be referred to as an “end run”.  A few weeks ago, I contacted the Columbus Dispatch with some details of our ongoing quest. The very next day, I received a call from Lori Katzman, one of the paper’s reporters. To make a long story short, today, on January 24th of 2015, the Columbus Dispatch featured the article beginning on the front page. The article called IRS says he’s dead-but wait! It is a wonderfully written article, complete with details of our struggle, and a wonderful picture taken during the interview.

The article already has captured some attention. Even before this morning’s addition came out, the story showed up online. Reporter Lori contacted me asking if it would be OK to share my E-mail address with US Senator Brown. Apparently Senator Brown might want to get involved. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

In addition, on Thursday, Channel Six (ABC) in Columbus will be sending a reporter and cameraman to interview us. While personally, I have confidence that eventually the Ohio tax advocate service would resolve our situation; there is a larger issue here. Maybe a little light can be shown on an IRS system which appears convoluted and ineffective. We have sent probably half of a tree worth of paper to the IRS over the last eight months without acknowledgement. We visited their office and finally received acknowledgement that, indeed, my father lives. However, the agent was, try as he might, unable to correct the computer problem. This process has been both aggravating and consumptive of both time and energy. Over the course of our struggles, I have come across at least two other loyal Americans with similar stories. This is a systemic problem which needs to be corrected.

While I fully realize that the current IRS staff has been reduced for budgetary reasons, it just makes sense that you can’t effectively reduce resources without proper systems in place.

Stick with us. Our web site is dedicated not only to the inevitable publication of our memoir, but to completing the stories of the three subject couples therein. Therefore, we will update this story as new developments occur.

Crystal's summer 2014 001

This is from last winter, but trust me, he is still Alive.

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