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Man Fumes Over Wrongful Tax Garnishment

Updated: Wednesday, April 24 2013, 08:07 PM EDT
John Reed is a modest man who works hard for every dollar he earns.  So, when he recently got a bill from the North Carolina Department of Revenue for over $7,000 in back taxes, he was devastated.

$7,000 is definitely not anything to just let go.  It's a good amount of money," said Reed.  The debt is for tax years 2008 and 2009, years when Reed lived nearly 800 miles away in Massachusetts.

News 13's Mario Boone asked Reed, "did you think this would a simple call to say you didn't owe it and it would go away?"  Said Reed, "I did, actually.  I guess I was naive on that."

In fact, things only got worse because tax collectors began garnishing Reed's paycheck.  "It felt very wrong."

Reed showed News 13 pages of documents indicating he didn't live here during the years in dispute.  "This is my Form 1 which is a income tax form from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said Reed, complete with his address in the Town of Chelsea. 

So, why won't state tax collectors back off?  A spokesman couldn't comment on Reed's case, but said in general NCDOR sends multiple notices and tries calling taxpayers before issuing a garnishment.  As for how this happened in the first place, NCDOR said it's based on information received by the IRS.

And what about the money already garnished by mistake?  The state said taxpayers are due a refund when an overpayment is found.  Reed just hopes others learn from his misfortune.

"I would definitely make sure that you keep copies of everything," said Reed.

By: Mario Boone, mlboone@wlos.com
Follow on Twitter: @mariobooneMan Fumes Over Wrongful Tax Garnishment


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