I worked as an hourly employee for a restaurant company from 1997 until 2004. During the latter part of my tenure, the company was suffering financially due to the mismanagement by the owner of the corporation. Employees and vendors were not getting paid and the owner made himself very scarce during business hours so as not to deal with bill collectors and angry employees.
I left the company in 2004 and in March of 2006 I received a notice from the IRS stating they were trying to locate someone from the restaurant company for past due taxes. The notice also stated that I may be held responsible for these taxes. I immediately contacted a tax lawyer who instructed me to go through the IRS Tax Advocacy office to resolve this issue.
I spent a year dealing with the Tax Advocacy people, filling out abatement forms, sending letters stating my case, etc. Early on, I was informed by an IRS agent at the Tax Advocacy office that somehow my social security number is cross-referenced with the restaurant's Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). The agent expressed some confusion, as did I.
After many months and many different agents handling my case, I received a letter stating the IRS had determined I am now responsible for civil penalties on the taxes that the restaurant company did not pay. I'm baffled how they could make this determination since they spoke to no one that I previously worked with at the restaurant company. I have never received any documentation from the IRS explaining how they determined I was responsible or how my social security number came to be associated with the company's FEIN.
I have contacted the tax lawyer once again, but the tax attorney only has the capability to settle with the IRS. They currently monitor my income and expenses and report it to the IRS quarterly. But they are NOT fighting to clear my name of the debt; they are just attempting to keep the IRS from taking all of my money. I am so confused as to how I am supposed to get my name cleared? If a tax lawyer cannot fight to clear my name, who is it that I need to contact to get my life back?
All I was doing at this restaurant company was my job and for that I am now linked to a tax debt of approximately $430,000. I was not an officer of the corporation, I was not a signer of the bank account, I was not even a manager in the company, and I had neither authority nor any financial responsibility with this company. I was just an hourly employee!
Going into the third year of this nightmare I came to conclusion that my identity must have been stolen by someone associated with the restaurant company. I have filed a claim with the Federal Trade Commission and my local law enforcement office. The local police say they cannot file my claim as a crime because I have no actual proof. My identity must have been stolen.
That is the only way my social security number could now be associated with the company's FEIN two years after I left the company. Because of that incorrect association, I now have a federal tax lien against me in my county for the $430,000 debt and as of today the IRS has placed a levy on my bank account and I cannot access my money to pay my bills or buy food.
I am a 52-year-old single woman. I've never been married. I've never owned a house and I live quite conservatively. I don't think it's fair that the IRS can come after me for something that is not my responsibility and turn my life into a living nightmare! My health is suffering from this. I now take medication for anxiety and depression. I cannot put money away in savings or the IRS will take it. They have taken whatever stimulus money was due to me because my social security number is cross-referenced with the restaurant company's FEIN.
I am an average US citizen. I work hard; I pay my bills and my taxes. Until this mess is cleared up I won't even be able to save for my retirement for fear the IRS will take what I save. I've been railroaded into this situation by my former employer and the IRS and I really don't know where to turn.
I was recently informed by my lawyer that I needed to sign an Installment Agreement with the IRS in order for them to release the levy on my bank account. Since this is not my tax liability I cannot bring myself to do such a thing. I have approximately $1600 to my name and it looks like the IRS is going to take it, since my bank account is still frozen and the deadline is Tuesday to have the levy released.
I've already spent about $2500 trying to fight this (not to mention the money spent on all the medication for my anxiety and depression) and now I'm desperate. My credit is ruined and I have no money. I don't deserve this!!
Orange Beach, Alabama