Surprise woman unable to file taxes, IRS insists she’s “dead”
SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Andrea Matsuoka may be above ground and breathing but try telling that to the Internal Revenue Service. “You look alive and well,” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper told Andrea. “Thank you. I feel alive and well,” she said, laughing.
But according to Andrea, the IRS insists she is dead. “It’s been very aggravating. Very aggravating,” she said.
Andrea’s problem started in 2019 when her dad passed away. Following his death, Andrea contacted the Social Security Administration to let them know of his passing so they would stop sending her dad’s Social Security checks. “I was just trying to make sure those rightful steps were followed,” she said. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”
But during that phone call, the Social Security Administration mixed up Andrea’s Social Security number with her deceased father’s information. Andrea discovered she was considered dead days later. “I noticed my credit cards were refusing charges, and so when I called them, they told me my Social Security was associated with a deceased person,” Andrea explained.
After complaining, the Social Security Administration immediately fixed the mistake and even sent Andrea this letter that said, “... our records wrongly showed you as deceased.” They went on to say, “...we corrected your record...”
Great. But by then, it was too late because the erroneous information was already passed on to the Internal Revenue Service. And for two years, the IRS refuses to correct the mistake on their end. “Well, it’s just crazy. How do you take taxes out of my paycheck and think I’m not alive?” she asked.
So, 3 On Your Side got involved. I asked the IRS to look into Andrea’s problem and correct their database, indicating that she’s dead when she’s alive. And that’s when I got a bizarre reply from the IRS saying, “By law, we cannot comment on a taxpayer’s personal status, so I cannot respond to this request.” That’s not what 3 On Your Side was asking.
As a result, 3 On Your Side turned to Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s office, which immediately got involved at my request. As of now, Sinema’s office is currently working with the IRS to make the change. “My understanding is my date of death just needs to be removed from my record. It should be such a simple fix for someone to go in and change this,” Andrea said.
Well, here’s the good news. Andrea just found out her so-called “date of death” has been removed from the IRS database. Sinema’s office was able to get a hold of the right people and had them make the correction. Andrea can now file her federal taxes and get her well-deserved $1,790 tax refund.
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