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I normally don’t write personal, slamming, types of posts. However, I really need to share my story and that of others that are going through the same thing. The reason I need to share it? Because something has to be done to reform this process with the Internal Revenue Service and how they treat victims of identity theft when it comes to tax returns.

It all started at the end of March when I went to file our tax return electronically. I got a message back that it had been rejected by the IRS. That was really odd, since I have e-filed for a very long time with no issues. I called the IRS the following day and found out that the reason it was rejected is someone had already filed a tax return using our names, social security numbers, address, and all our information. What?!?!?

I was told that in order for me to get my refund, I would need to file a paper return and submit proof of identity with photo ID’s and mail everything to the IRS. It would then take 180 days to process my return and get my refund. What?!?!?!? So, I mailed everything on March 31 and I’ve been waiting ever since. I can’t get any update on the “Where’s My Refund” as it shows we haven’t filed. I can’t get through to the IRS because each time I call, I am put on hold for over an hour or I’m disconnected saying they are too busy. I finally complained to my Congressman and had them submit a request to their IRS Liaison and that was a month ago and still no word.

Now, this would be a horrible situation to be in for anyone but let me just say it’s happening to my neighbor as well. In fact, three of us that live right next to and across from each other, are going through the same exact thing. Two of us were due refunds, with one neighbor due a very large refund, and neither of us can get any information from the IRS or get our money! I can also guarantee that we won’t be getting any interest on the money they have been sitting on, but if we owed them, they’d want their interest.

When you have your identity stolen and they compromise your credit cards or bank accounts, the banks and credit card companies RETURN your money to you immediately and then do an investigation to find the criminals. Not the IRS! They want to sit on your money while they investigate who could have defrauded them and try to get that money back BEFORE they turn around and pay the victim. This essentially re-victimizes the victims. It makes the victims pay for having someone file a fraudulent tax return with information that most likely was obtained from the IRS’s own breach of security.

This process needs to change and it needs to change NOW! I’m a hard working American who pays my taxes and obeys the laws and it’s not my fault that someone else got my information from the IRS breach and used it to file a tax return ahead of me. It’s not my fault the IRS paid that tax refund to someone else. I deserve to have my tax refund in a timely manner, not 180+ days later. I deserve to be kept up to date and informed on the processing of my tax return without me having to involve congressmen and write a blog post to get someone’s attention. How can we allow this type of backwards process to continue to exist when the banks and credit card companies have amazingly gotten this process right already?!

Please write your elected officials and share this post with everyone so that we can get this process changed. The IRS needs to be held accountable for timely processing of tax returns/refunds, and also needs to stop victimizing those of us that have been victims of identity theft.