RIVERBANK (CBS13) – No one likes the annual pressure to get your taxes in on time. Imagine having to send in your return four times. A Riverbank couple called Kurtis Ming after the IRS kept claiming it didn’t receive their return.
The IRS keeps asking for their 2010 taxes and the couple keeps sending the paperwork in. Now they’re at risk of losing the credit for the $920 dollars they paid Uncle Sam that tax year.
Eric and Robin Bjerke have been in a back and forth battle with the IRS since last year, when Eric called asking about their 2011 tax refund.
“They said ‘well you haven’t got your money back yet because you didn’t send in your 2010 return.’ I said, ‘Of course I sent in my 2010 return!'” said Eric.
The Bjerkes owed in 2010, and the IRS cashed their check. But the government keeps claiming they never received the paperwork with it. Eric says he’s mailed it in three times and Robin has even physically walked it into an IRS help office one more time.
“I said, ‘They have lost this multiple times. I’m handing this to you to make sure that it gets there.'” recalls Robin.
But then they got another letter from the IRS, threatening that the Bjerkes would lose the $920 credit for they paid for the 2010 tax year if they didn’t send in the paperwork.
“That, I think, is what sent me over the edge. I finally had a little breakdown this time,” said Robin.
“Breaking through that wall of bureaucracy for the average citizen is extremely difficult,” said Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
Coupal says it takes constant calls and pressure to get IRS issues resolved.
“Like any government agency, there’s no competition. This is not like you have a choice between going to Sears and Walmart,” said Coupal.
CBS13 called the IRS, but they couldn’t look into it for us, for privacy reasons. We learned there is an independent organization within the IRS that’s job is to help people with IRS problems; the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Eric called them and was put in touch with someone at the IRS and given specific instructions about sending in a fifth return, which he hopes will be his last.
“I would like somebody to say we have your return! Send us a letter. Thank you very much!” said Eric.
Coupal says sometimes mentioning you have an attorney will get the IRS to back down because they don’t want to go to court.
Another thing you can do is contact a federal lawmaker. Both Senators Boxer and Feinstein offer help dealing with agencies like the IRS.