KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As the new tax season approaches, a Knoxville man is still dealing with his taxes from last year. The IRS rejected Kevin Barczak’s return due to identity theft.
Barczak said never believed he would fall victim to identity theft because he had been so careful. However, in mid-March, someone stole his social security number, filed a tax return in his name, and he’s been trying to get it resolved since.
“We need help on a resolution for this, this is like ruining our lives here. Identity theft is terrible,” said Barczak.
On April 12, his accountant sent him a message saying his federal tax return was rejected for identity theft.
“The person that committed the fraudulent return went on the IRS website and created an account in my name.” He went on to explain that whoever filed taxes under his name spelled his name wrong. “They spelled it K-E-V-E-N. Instead of K-E-V-I-N.”
At that point, Barczak and his wife reached out to the FTC and the IRS fraud lines.
“So the IRS said in April, you need a paper manual return, your federal return, and an affidavit. We have five affidavits, three kids, my wife, and I. It says who we are. So we sent that in, the IRS got it. I have a receipt that they received it on April 16. I followed up with them. Yes, we have it. Everything we have, we’re set up. We don’t need anything else from you.”
However, a few months later, he sent the paperwork again. “They told me on the phone, they did have it, but eight months later they said they didn’t. So, I’ve sent it twice, they’ve signed for it twice, they have it twice. I called the IRS, a week later, We don’t have it, Kevin, we don’t have any of your paperwork.”
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That was just a few weeks ago. Through research, he’s learned where his money ended up – Utah. “Our information went to Green.CorpBank,” said Barczak. “[The scammers] create these accounts in your name. So they’ll funnel the money into these accounts and use them as pre-paid debit cards. We called Green.Corp and canceled it, but the customer service was in Puerto Rico.”
“Even though they spelled, they spelled my name wrong, they still paid them. I asked the IRS about that, they said they don’t validate names when they come to it. They strictly look at Social Security numbers.”
The local IRS office told Kevin they do not handle ID theft, meaning all his correspondence then is online. Frustrated he contacted Tennessee’s federal legislators in Washington, D.C.
“Senator Blackburn’s office actually reached out to us yesterday, said that they’ll do a Congressional Inquiry on our behalf. They felt bad for everything that we’re going through. So we are extremely grateful for Senator Blackburn’s office stepping up.”
To make matters even more complicated for Barczak, the state of New York, where he has never lived, sent him to notice that someone used his identity and was sent unemployment benefits under Kevin’s name, again with his first name misspelled. Additional under the American Rescue plan, Barczak was supposed to be sent a payment of $7,000 dollars for his dependants, but it never arrived.
Regarding tax-related id theft, if your social security number is compromised and your identity is stolen, the IRS recommends that you respond immediately to the IRS notice. If your e-filed return is rejected because of a duplicate filing under your social security number, you’re instructed to complete IRS form 140 dash 39, it’s called the Identity Theft Affidavit.