Render Unto Ceasar

taxAuditVacations, a new car, or home remodeling are the kinds of things many people enjoy once they have received their tax return. But, for families that are struggling financially they rely upon their tax returns to help pay medical bills, car repairs, credit card debt, or just stay afloat. Robert’s family was more like the latter than the former.

In 2014, Robert received an audit instead of a return, and, at the end of the audit, he was handed a $7,000.00 tax bill. When you are already struggling financially, that kind of unexpected obligation is enough to sink one into bankruptcy and foreclosure. A few fairly simple filing errors over the past few years by Robert added up to a liability that was likely going to cost him and his family their home.

Robert tried to work through the system to fix the filing errors, and, in the meantime, he was hoping that his 2015 tax return could help out his family. However, in spite of what he had been told, the IRS seized  his entire refund. This was just one more gale that smashed his makeshift raft. That is when Robert turned to Administer Justice and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic run by Angela Siener.

Angela immediately began filing amended returns for Robert, and she was able to figure out why the IRS had seized the 2015 return. The IRS had attempted to collect on his wife’s student loan debt through the tax return when he was the only one in the household earning an income. This should not have been allowed in this case, so Angela was able to successfully challenge the IRS. Robert received just over $5,000.00 for his 2015 return.

Moreover, she continued to work through the issues raised by the audit. She was able to file an amended return for the 2014 year. Once accepted, Robert no longer owed money, but the IRS owed him and his family just over $1,800.00. Through the ministry of Administer Justice, Robert’s family was able to land on sure ground; they ended up netting almost $14,000.00 to their family’s balance sheet.

Thanks be to God.