My wife received a collection notice from Performant Recovery on behalf of the IRS for 36k…..

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My dad is a CPA. He’s sitting in the same room as I so I ran this past him. He says you need to get the IRS to furnish you with a copy of the 2009 tax return they are supposedly using to declare that amount. You need to have that before you can make any action. It will verify whether or not the mom (or anyone else) filed improperly. Do this right away. EDIT: Wow, this is by far the most upvoted comment I’ve ever made on Reddit! Thank you all for doing that. It makes me feel good to know that something I thought to post had an impact. I had to travel back home so I’m no longer in the same room as my dad, but I will do my best to text him for as much info as I can in case I can add to some of your comments. Thank you all again! EDIT 2: Thank you, kind internet stranger for the award! Much appreciated!

Hammsammitch

Have y’all gone onto the IRS website, logged into her account and looked to see if there’s anything about an outstanding balance?

WavesnMountains

I had something similar happen recently on a penalty from way back in 2009, tho for much less money, about 3K. After months of avoiding the problem I finally just called the IRS just this past week..partially to confirm that the collection agency letter I received was legit and second to see if there was some way to reduce the penalty. I must have been on the phone all of 15 minutes and the result was the agent I spoke with filed an abatement for me, which was accepted, and the whole 3K disappeared. I was shocked and elated both at how easy the process was and at not owing 3K dollars. You might try this. I think the general feeling is that dealing with the IRS is an awful experience but it was actually quite nice, especially compared to dealing with Comcast or AT&T.

Catamounter

You’ve already gotten good advice, but I wanted to share something that happened to my mom. She got a small job and was paid about $600. Then she got a surprise letter from the IRS saying she owed almost $20,000. Someone at the IRS, when doing the calculations, had entered 60000 instead of 600.00. In the future, when it looks like something weird may be afoot, get ahead of it and don’t assume it’ll work itself out. Best of luck to you!

aoeudhtns

> After a year of no more contact, we assumed it went away. Why would this be your *first* assumption? She can follow the instructions in the letter to return the debt to IRS and pursue a fraud claim. She should also contact IRS customer service and ask for the Collection Statute Expiration Date. This is the remaining time IRS can legally collect the balance.

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