In 2007, after losing my longtime career in downsizing, I turned to Chase Investment Services in Chicago rollover my 401(k) into an IRA.
I needed access to the money to keep a roof over my head.
When my original adviser/salesman set up my IRA distributions, he consulted a chart and estimated my federal tax withholding and he insisted that I also had to withhold funds for Illinois taxes.
When I questioned the state withholding, he insisted I had to do it and shoved the paperwork at me. I signed it.
I was foolish! I assumed because he worked for a big national bank, he was trustworthy and knew what he was doing.
I'm just a regular person. My tax adviser is Turbo Tax, which I have used for my federal tax return. I always did my Illinois tax return on my own, because it is easy to complete.
For my 2011 tax returns I used Turbo Tax for my Illinois rather than doing it myself and I discovered, to my intense dismay, that Illinois does not tax IRA distributions! From 2007 through 2010 I had been paying taxes I did not owe.
I scrambled to file amended state tax returns, although it was too late to amend 2007
Illinois tax returns.
When I informed my current financial adviser/salesman (the first one left the company), I found out he had no idea that Illinois did not tax IRA distributions, nor did four or five colleagues he queried (and probably my original adviser/salesman).
I complained to higher-ups and was referred to Chase's legal and compliance office in Columbus, Ohio. I was interviewed on the phone by a compliance officer who did not ask the pertinent questions.
Needless to say, Chase said I signed the paperwork and they are not to blame.
They are wrong!
Their adviser/salesmen are poorly trained and poorly supervised. And Chase's IRA distribution tax-withholding form is erroneous in stating federal and state tax withholding is REQUIRED. It is NOT required, although if you choose to withhold nothing or too little, you could face penalties under estimated tax rules.
No one in Chicago with the authority to make this right, by refunding the money I cannot recoup, will meet with me face-to-face.
They hide behind people on the phone in Ohio, who conduct a sham complaint process designed to absolve Chase of any blame or wrongdoing.
I am angry and frustrated by this greedy, immoral company and its high-living employees, and I am beginning to think I should file a lawsuit.
Chase's motto should be: The customer is always wrong.