National News

Couple hit with $10,000 tax bill, warrants for taxes they didn't owe

Posted June 8, 2018 11:03 a.m. EDT

— A northeast side couple has been battling to clear their name after receiving notices for more than $9,000 in taxes they don't owe.

Kendra and Enzley Mitchell moved to Indiana in 2014 to be close to family.

They were shocked to receive a notice in September 2017 saying they owed more than $9,000 in Indiana income taxes, penalties and interest.

"I'm like I don't owe this money, and I knew I didn't owe it," said Enzley Mitchell.

Most of 2014, they weren't even living in Indiana.

"It was close to $10,000 so I knew that being here only four months that wasn't going to be right," said Enzley.

The Mitchells re-filed their taxes again.

That's when they said the Indiana Department of Revenue told them they forgot to submit a part-year resident form.

"When I first called I said tell us everything we need and I wrote down every single form she told me to resubmit and that's what we did," said Kendra Mitchell.

Even though they submitted the proper form, the problems only got worse.

"We're still getting notices that we owe $9,995, and we're getting these tax warrant notices in the mail," said Enzley. "I'm checking my credit, and I get this credit alert that says the state of Indian has filed a tax lien in the amount of $9,995."

Enzley said his credit score took a 100-point dive, making it difficult to buy a car as planned.

The Mitchells said their calls to the Indiana Department of Revenue did not fix the problem.

"They told us it would be July before they even got around looking at it," said Kendra.

The Mitchells reached out to Call 6 Investigates, and we contacted the Indiana Department of Revenue on the couple's behalf.

"After you get involved, stuff starts moving pretty fast," said Enzley.

Within days, the Mitchells received an expungement letter telling them they no longer had the tax debt on their record.

"It's like it never happened," said Enzley.

Indiana Department of Revenue Commissioner Adam Krupp can't talk about individual cases, but said they're making a large effort to improve customer service.

"We get a million calls, nine million pieces of correspondence going through the agency every year," said Krupp. "So, nobody's perfect. Our job, and what we remind our staff every day is it's how we react and respond when there is a mistake or an accident."

To avoid a tax mistake from happening to you, respond to any mail you receive from the Indiana Department of Revenue.

"Avoiding the correspondence from the agency does not make the problem go away," said Krupp.

Also, make sure you get the right forms and fill them out correctly.

"Don't guess," said Krupp. "If you have a question, call us."

Also, make sure to keep records of your tax filings and any interactions you have with the Department of Revenue.

The Mitchells say if you get a bill or a notice that doesn't seem right, make sure to ask questions.

"Do your record keeping, do your diligence, and don't be afraid to fight," said Enzley.

If you've already spoken with a DOR representative and you're still not satisfied, another option is to contact the taxpayer advocate.

The Taxpayer Advocate Office (TAO) is a Division of the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) that assists customers in fixing problems that have not be settled through other DOR programs and is a final resource to resolve customer issues, according to the agency's website.

"These are folks that have been with the department for a long time, and they're experts in what they do," said Krupp. "If somebody has gone through the normal channels and isn't satisfied with how their case is being handled, we usually get the taxpayer advocate involved."