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Stimulus payment claimed fraudulently by ex

schulaw1
Level 2

I have a tax client who was in the process of a divorce in 2019 through early 2020.  She filed a 2019 return as married filing separately.  Because she owed she did not file til the last minute.  The wife always supported her ex-husband as he had no income other than disability.  He filed a joint tax return showing only his disability to get the covid stimulus payment and claimed his soon to be ex as a dependent and fraudulently signed for her.  The stimulus payment for both of them was sent to him and he refuses to give her her half.  Does she have any recourse with the IRS?

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BobKamman
Level 14

@schulaw1  "The IRS has already told her that because it was sent to him she's not eligible to get the stimulus payment."

The IRS is not like that monolith in Utah, but one poorly-trained phone clerk can also be replaced and removed.  Try the HUCA method (Hang Up, Call Again).  Better yet, the Taxpayer Advocate.  There is no reason your client's superseding MFS return can't be accepted, and no reason the EIP can't be claimed on her 2020 return.  The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.

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3 Replies 3
BobKamman
Level 14

s IRS IRM 25.15 acknowledges, joint returns may be filed as a result of duress, or under forged signatures.  It is well established in case law that these returns do not constitute a valid return of the taxpayer.  In these instances, similar to the procedures under Identity Theft and Return Preparer Fraud, the taxpayer should be able to file an original MFS return (or Head of Household return, if eligible) and receive her or his own EIP or RRC.  In some instances, DVAA victims may already have filed superseding returns claiming that status.

https://procedurallytaxing.com/where-there-is-a-will-there-is-a-way-economic-impact-payments-for-vic...

https://procedurallytaxing.com/where-there-is-a-will-there-is-a-way-economic-impact-payments-for-vic...

 

schulaw1
Level 2

Thanks for your reply.  The IRS has already told her that because it was sent to him she's not eligible to get the stimulus payment.  It's beginning to look like small claims court might be her only solution.

 

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BobKamman
Level 14

@schulaw1  "The IRS has already told her that because it was sent to him she's not eligible to get the stimulus payment."

The IRS is not like that monolith in Utah, but one poorly-trained phone clerk can also be replaced and removed.  Try the HUCA method (Hang Up, Call Again).  Better yet, the Taxpayer Advocate.  There is no reason your client's superseding MFS return can't be accepted, and no reason the EIP can't be claimed on her 2020 return.  The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.

View solution in original post