Case in point: Mary Grice Of Takoma Park MD-
Just a few weeks ago, Mary received a letter in the mail informing her that her tax refunds from both the state of Maryland and the IRS hd been seized for an outstanding debt.
In 1960, Mary Grice and her 4 siblings lost their father. Sadie Grice, the single surviving parent, was entitled to--and collected--Survivors Benefits up until the surviving children turned eighteen.
Now Social Security is claiming they overpaid someone in the Grice family, and they are taking Mary's tax refunds in order to settle the debt.
Mary Grice is not the only taxpayer in this situation: nationwide many of these same letters have gone out informing people their tax returns have been confiscated for a debt many of them never even realized they owed.
The Treasury Department has intercepted over a billion dollars already this year for debts that go back well beyond 10 yrs, and which many taxpayers are completely unaware of.
This began 3 yrs ago, thanks to a single line added to a Farm Bill that gives the federal government the right to go back 10 yrs if necessary, to collect on an old debt: statute of limitations lifted.
Neither the Treasury Department, Social Security, or the Congress appears to want the credit for this, however a spokesperson from Social Security was willing to say this:
Dorothy Clark: “We have an obligation to current and future Social Security beneficiaries to attempt to recoup money that people received when it was not due."
This will be an unpleasant surprise this tax season, for many Americans who are waiting for their tax refunds.
The Social Security Administration has found 400,000 people who owe $714 million on debts that are more than 10 years old.
Apparently, the government is not required to say which family member received the overpayment, and in what has come to be seen as typical, Social Security does not appear to be very vigilant with regard to records or bookeeping, and as is the case with the Grice family: the policy is simply to start with the oldest and work their way down until the debt has been paid.
Needless to say, Mary Grice is filing against this confiscation of her tax refunds for a debt she did not even know she owed; for monies collected by her mother--now deceased-for the food clothing and shelter provided to her in childhood by Social Security after the death of her father.
Read the whole sad tale here-