Local News

"Hell Nor High Water" Can Stop Fuquay Woman's Fight Against IRS

Posted November 26, 1997

— The government may have met its match in Ruby Smith. She's waged a one-woman battle against the IRS and Social Security Administration. Smith is proof you're never too old to fight Uncle Sam.

Ruby Smith just won't give up. For about four years, she's been getting letters from the IRS and the Social Security Administration claiming she owes the government money.

"They got mixed up," Smith is convinced. "The numbers got mixed up, and it was never corrected."

Apparently, the government has Ruby A. Smith mixed up with an R.A. Smith who lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

"At first they just thought I was a flake I think, somebody just taking up the time," admits Smith. "Lord knows why you would want to take up time with the IRS."

Smith keeps her sense of humor. It's a rather wry sense of humor. That sense of humor has entertained members of the Fuquay-Varina Presbyterian Church for years. Ruby's been church treasurer there, modestly paid, for 25 years.

"I'm sure her income is nowhere near what's being charged by the IRS and social security," says Pastor Gene Pierce.

The confusion reached its peak this Summer, when Ruby lost her Social Security benefits, altogether. Once again, the government got her income mixed up with the R.A. Smith's. She wrote her Senator, and got her benefits back.

"Stubborn, angry, obnoxious, rude, whatever it takes, I'm right," Smith explains. "Hell nor high water is going to stop me unless I just give out."

Ruby's going to need a little more of that stubborness. On Monday, she got another letter from Social Security questioning her income and benefits.

A Social Security spokesperson tells WRAL this is a problem that should not be happening. They've promised to fix it.


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