Whoops! This is not your tax form

by Kerry Dougherty

Not good enough, Virginia Department of Taxation. Not even close.

It’s not enough to apologize and tell the nearly 15,000 Virginia Beach taxpayers whose personal tax information on their 1099G forms was sent to the wrong address to simply hold on until the correct document arrives.

These forms contain the names and addresses, the last four digits of the taxpayer’s social security number, and the amount of their tax refund or overpayment from last year.

News flash: Many of us are scrupulous about deterring identity theft. We destroy invitations to open credit cards, insurance policies and bank accounts. We destroy invoices bearing our names and account numbers. Heck, I black out personal details on plastic prescription bottles before throwing the empty container in the recycling.

I don’t want anyone digging through my big blue bin to figure out what’s hurting me. I certainly don’t want them looking at my tax documents.

Over the weekend I received dozens of messages from readers who were alarmed when they opened the mail from the Virginia tax department and found someone else’s name and information at inside. I had dinner with some confused friends on Saturday night and they couldn’t decide whether to track down the person whose information arrived in their mailbox or bring it back to Richmond.

Shred it, advises the taxman. You will soon receive the correct form.

According to the Department of Taxation website, Form 1099G is a report of income received from the Commonwealth during the past year. The IRS requires the forms because state tax refunds are considered taxable income.

A person who called “The Kerry and Mike Show” Monday morning said they had received 1099G from someone else. When she phoned Richmond, she was told that “very few” forms had been sent in error.

Very little?

When I called a few hours later, I was told that the number of documents that had been sent to the wrong addresses was running out. “Less than 15,000.”

To me, that sounds like a lot of tax information floating around. For some reason, the clusterfart tax form is limited to Virginia Beach.

We are lucky.

I asked the spokeswoman how it went and she said she would get back to me. She did it. But only to direct me to the ministry website, which did NOT explain what was wrong.

Virginia Tax takes the protection of taxpayer information very seriously. We are aware of an issue with the printed Form 1099-G for a number of taxpayers. Together with the print provider, we investigated the issue in depth and identified the specific taxpayers affected. We deeply regret this error and apologize for any inconvenience.

When he was running for governor, Glenn Youngkin promised that if he won, he would kick the Parole Board, the DMV and the Virginia Employment Commission.

Looks like he better add the tax department to the list of departments that went bad during the Northam years.

This column was republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Undited.

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