Tax Return Day. Our accountant goes to e-file. He cannot because a federal return already has been filed using my SSN. Warning, Will Robinson, this is tax fraud. Worse, it probably is identity theft.
The federal government has a dizzying dozen of complicated web pages, complete with broken hyperlinks, to guide the multitudes so afflicted through the process of reporting, complaining, alternate filing, and waiting until George Bush's grand-kids are old enough to work for the IRS unraveling it. Until then, apparently, no refunds for anyone.
How it happened is anyone's guess and we may never know. One guess: using an online travel agency (who needed by SSN for booking). But that is only a theory and smarter people than me (One Adam 12, One Adam 12...) will be running that down.
It's also very common. It's apparently happening to thousands of people. Someone out there has stolen, from all of us, perhaps my tax refund. I'll still get my refund from my 2014 taxes, several thousand worth, perhaps in 2 to 4 years. Or longer. No one really knows. And exactly two people appear to be in a hurry: my wife and me. Certainly no one who draws a government paycheck. I'm now in line people still waiting for their 2009 and 2010 refunds not released for the same reason.
Until then I have the solace in knowing that I am not alone in being a victim of this allegedly victimless crime. But I think the final joke is on the perpetrators, who for all we know may be the Russian Mafia. You see, they wanted to be me and they get the bad (my belly) with the good (my refund).
Now they, and no longer me, get to deal the lifelong extra poundage and the health ticking time bomb it represents. Now, I feel better. Sort of. Or not.
PS - To those who say they try to come out as zero, I agree. However, I own a business and I am not in control of when clients do and do not pay, when contracts do and do not get signed. It so happens we are due a refund, because my guess about business profit was off. I don't intend to let the government use my money for free; trust me.