A Case of Stolen Identity?

identity theftI get it. I write about my fabulous trip to Vegas; someone decides they want to live the Mary lifestyle; and then, that person up and steals my identity!

Not really – but it did seem like I was the victim of a very strange case of identity theft in the form of an unexpected pay cut and an IRS mix-up. That’s right, Matchmaker recently received a back taxes wage garnishment for me from the state of North Carolina. With late penalties, it came to the tune of nearly thirteen thousand dollars!

That was news to me! Not only am I up-to-date on filing all of my taxes, I’ve lived in Alabama (Roll Tide!) since 2008, thank you very much. Yet, according to the IRS, my employer had filed income for me for the past several years and I had never paid taxes on it. Furthermore, the Department of Revenue insisted that unless I proved my innocence pronto, Bob would be forced to garnish my wages! That would have been no fun for either of us.

Thankfully, I had plenty of ammunition – the best weapon against the IRS – paperwork. That’s right, I’ve meticulously kept all of my tax records since 1988. Yup. I had 28 years of tax returns filed away just in case….Take that, pencil pushers!

I faxed page after page of my paperwork off to the IRS, so they would see that I’m a dedicated (organized!) citizen who has been paying her taxes right on schedule for decades. Within a week, I was vindicated.

Turns out there was a mix-up between the IRS and the NC Department of Revenue regarding my address. The IRS had me living in Alabama, but the NC Department of Revenue had never updated their records with my new address (even though it had been furnished to them). Those thousands of dollars in penalties had accrued because, for years, NC had been sending mail to my old NC address, mail I never received. You gotta love the Department of Revenue.

So, false alarm. My identity is safe, at least for now. 1 in 20 Americans do become victims of identity theft, but I’ve got just one thing to say to anyone who might try: “You can try to steal my identity, but you’ll never steal my awesomeness.” Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to file away my tax forms once again.

Happy Monday,