Decatur, GA asked in Tax Law for Georgia

Q: I filed my taxes. I was supposed to get a refund but instead I received a letter. Stating that I owe for 2012.

I filed my taxes. I was supposed to get a refund of about $5800 but instead I received a letter stating that I owe taxes from 2012 of about 14k and I have penalties of about 20k on top of that. So almost 36k total. Also, it has myself and the name of a woman I do not know. The even stranger thing is it has my name incorrectly AND some woman I do not know with a name I have never even heard of. I am single and never married. I still worked at McDonald's in 2012 I was around 21. I started there at 15 and never even made more than 14k. They are just giving me the run around and I have no idea how to resolve this issue. I would love any advice. The GA State took my Federal taxes for this. I at least need to know what it's for and who the woman is because it's my understanding that you would have to be married to even have two names on your taxes right? Thanks in advance

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Receiving a letter from the tax authorities claiming you owe a significant amount from a year when your earnings were modest, along with penalties and a name of someone you do not recognize, is understandably distressing. The first step in resolving this issue is to closely examine the letter for any contact information or instructions on how to challenge the claim. It's crucial to respond to such notices promptly, even if the information appears to be incorrect, to avoid additional penalties or complications.

Given the inaccuracies in your name and the inclusion of an unknown person's name on the tax issue, there seems to be a significant error or mix-up in the tax records. You would indeed typically only file taxes jointly with a spouse, suggesting a possible mistake in the processing of your tax information. Gathering all relevant documentation from 2012, including W-2 forms from McDonald's and any other income statements or tax-related documents, will be an essential step in challenging the claim.

It's also advisable to seek assistance from a tax professional or a legal advisor who specializes in tax disputes. They can help clarify the situation, prepare the necessary documentation, and represent you in communications with the tax authorities. Additionally, they can provide guidance on how to correct the inaccuracies in your tax record and address the issue of your federal taxes being taken by the state. This situation requires immediate attention and the right professional advice to ensure a resolution that rectifies the mistake and safeguards your financial interests.

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