Skip to comments.Shakedown: Treasury seizing tax refunds from adult children to pay parents' Social Security debts
Posted on 04/11/2014 12:33:11 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
When I say “debts,” I don’t mean loans that the parents willingly sought from SSA. It would be bad enough to hold a kid responsible for that (since when are children responsible for their parents’ obligations?), but at least it would have been voluntarily incurred by mom/dad. The “debts” here are overpayments of Social Security benefits, the product of SSA’s own errors. The parents who received them might not have even realized they were getting money they weren’t supposed to have. And now, somehow, it’s junior’s problem.
But wait. It gets worse.
When [Mary] Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.
Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family its not sure who in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Marys money, rather than her surviving siblings, is a mystery…
It was a shock, said Grice, 58. What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they cant prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus.…
Social Security officials told Grice that six people Grice, her four siblings and her fathers first wife, whom she never knew had received benefits under her fathers account. The government doesnt look into exactly who got the overpayment; the policy is to seek compensation from the oldest sibling and work down through the family until the debt is paid.
SSA insists that they did send notice — to a P.O. Box that Grice hasn’t owned for 35 years, even though they have her current address.
How can they demand restitution for a mistaken payment made in the late 1970s, let alone from someone who didn’t even receive it? Because: The farm bill that passed in 2011 lifted the 10-year statute of limitations on debts owed to the feds. Treasury has collected more than $400 million since then on very old obligations, many of them below the radar of public scrutiny because the amounts are often small enough, i.e. a few hundred dollars, that the targets find it’s cheaper to pay up than to fight. It’s a shakedown, based on the flawed assumption that a child not only must have benefited from the overpayment to his parent but that he/she received the entirety of the benefit, with little proof offered that the debt even exists. (One man who was forced to pay demanded a receipt from SSA affirming that his balance was now zero. The SSA clerk told him he’d put in the request but that the man shouldn’t expect to receive anything.) The only reason you’re hearing about Grice’s case, I think, is because they went after her for thousands, not hundreds, of dollars, which was enough of a hit to make her get a lawyer. Turns out that the feds had seized and then continued to hold her federal and state refunds, an amount greater than $4,400 — even though they were only demanding $2,996 from her to pay off her father’s debt. Lo and behold, once WaPo found out and started asking questions, the $1,400 excess was promptly returned to her. Amazing how fast bureaucracy can move when someone looks behind the curtain.
The whole thing is Kafkaesque — opaque, oppressive, arbitrary, and sinister in its indifference to making sure the right person pays so long as someone does. After reading the story, it’s not obvious to me what’s stopping Treasury from demanding a payment from every taxpayer whose parents are dead. If the chief witnesses are gone and the feds don’t have to prove that a child actually received any benefits from overpayment, the only “check” on this process is SSA’s willingness to tell the truth about who owes them money and how much. You trust them, don’t you?
Exit question from Karl: Isn’t holding children responsible for their parents’ retirement debts the governing model of the Democratic Party?
Getting a tax refund is giving the gubmit an interest free loan for a year.
It appears to me they are going to be responsible for 17 trillion.
In ancient times children were held responsible for their parent’s debts. I thought the constitution did away with that. Am I mistaken?
Everyone is a criminal in Acirema - except for Mohammedans, illegal aliens, union thugs, blacks, homosexuals and the mental incompetants in Versailles on the Potomac.
You would be surprised how many people do not comprehend that fact.
Just wait until they collect the fees (plus penalties and interest) from descendents of Civil War veterans who failed to return their government issued uniforms after the war.
Many who get refunds paid nothing in, mostly Democrats
Everyone? That’s about 48% of the population you just listed there!
Are they going after those that received welfare benefits? Fairness to me says that they would go after those people first.
It is far more than that when you count unfunded liabilities such as SS and Mediscare.
I love this story, more and more every day the people who vote for more government are getting just what they deserve.....
Wait till people start hiding wealth and the government comes to their homes and takes them away to be re-educated like the other fascists in NAZI Germany did......
“Section 9: No Bill of Attainder or ex-post facto Law shall be passed.”
I guess that means the Government is not breaking the law. They did not pass a law to do it. They just did it.
They'll find out that garnishment is not something you put on your salad.
If it wakes up liberals they’ll claim it’s the republicans’ fault and continue to vote for those who are taking their money.
We just need to bring back debtors’ prisons to fix all of this....oh, wait...
Do your best not to be in a situation where you are going to get a “refund”. A refund is nothing but your overpayment that the gov holds on to, then returns to you.
However, California started issuing IOU’s a couple of years ago. Small business men tried to cash the IOU’s at banks and were told to go pound sand. Also, obamacare has provisions to withhold your refund if you have not paid your fine for not having insurance.
Remember the statement, “As California goes, so goes the country”. Politically we are there already. Now comes the enforcement.
Waiting for Obama’s response. I’m sure a reporter will ask about this/s
well THIS is certainly going to go down well for the Democrats with an election coming up.
Many people over pay their taxes, so they get a refund at the end of the year. They should realize that they’re putting that money at risk. Refunds can also be seized under Obamacare, if I’m not mistaken.
In other words everyone is a criminal except the REAL criminals, right?
How ironic, they are making the children responsible for the parents actions in this case but if an illegal is brought to this country at a young age they are victims of their parents actions and should not be “punished”.
I guess you can have it both ways...and more no doubt.
They are going to start deducting the amount “owed” from taxes already withheld. If you are getting no refund, then they will just ask you to pay your remaining tax debt. They excel at collecting taxes due.
No way out.
The new owebamacare expanded Medicaid is also designed to unknowingly rip people off.
Hidden in the law was a clause that the feds are entitled to any property owned by someone on Medicaid when they die.
If Grandma has no money and gets Medicaid, but owns a $200,000 house, when she dies the government scoops it up. Sorry kids, that will is meaningless now.
The state would do better to go after welfare and Social Security Disability fraud today, such as those who use SNAP benefits and ship food to family overseas or claim disability and run marathons.
How is that not an ex post facto law?
I can see changing the statute of limitations for all future debts, but you can't make a legally expired debt active again.
For now, just make sure you owe at the end of each year.
For later, have a passport in force and a go bag with cash. Have a stash in a friendly place if you can do that too.
It’s gonna get ugly before it gets better.
The ranch thing, the US Dollar losing reserve/petro status, ... it’s starting to crumble.
How about the money taken from me in overpayment of income taxes because of 20% withholding in drawing from early retirement benefits placed with a Merrill-Lynch by my former employer in a buyout? If for whatever reason you don’t report that overpayment to IRS within 3 years, they just keep it and you can never, ever get it back. The federal government owes me thousands of dollars. My fault, right?
This won’t stop until people start dying. It’s as simple as that.
In addition they will want current value for that missing musket your great-great-great-great grandfather lost during the civil war.
The Department of the Army went after a guy for over $1000 for gear that was unaccounted for from 10-15 years ago, a couple of months ago in WV.
Fox News had a guest on this morning. Somebody tacked one sentence onto the end of a farm bill. Apparently there was some kind of 10-year statute of limitions about to expire.
“My fault, right?”
Well, yes, yes it is.
You are supposed adjust your taxes due by that amount when you file taxes that year. You have three years to file an amended return for any money due to you. There is no year limit on money you owe them.
Something similar is happening to my mother in law. SS claims they overpaid her then started docking her payments, leaving her nearly destitute. There was no hearing, no proof offered, they simply started docking her payments and I believe they even went after her retirement. She worked 20 plus years at the Post Office as a mail carrier. The PO actively discriminated against her due to her age and tried to have her fired so she couldn’t collect her pension. The PO has even lost a legal battle over age discrimination and their shady termination practices of those close to retirement.
“If it wakes up liberals theyll claim its the republicans fault and continue to vote for those who are taking their money.”
That sounds as though it should be sarcasm but actually many of them will do just that. I can say from experience that some liberals actually blame the Republicans for the money that was taken away from Medicare Advantage plan funding by the so called Affordable Care Act. Tell them it is part of the bill that ZERO Republicans voted for and they come back with, “Oh, so you’re blaming the Democrats?”
I kid you not. They don’t like it at all but somehow they refuse to see reality and blame the people who actually did it.
I can’t say that they are all that bad but a big percentage automatically assign blame for anything they don’t like to the GOP without having any idea at all how it came about. Just look at all the ranting about Republicans and the KKK, they don’t have a clue that the KKK began as an arm of the Democratic party and when all the stuff they rant about was going on in the South AND IN INDIANA, ILLINOIS, MISSOURI AND OTHER STATES THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SOUTH it was all done by Democrats. They want more than anything to claim Abraham Lincoln as a Democrat and some actually seem to think he was a Democrat. They want to pretend that Bull Connor, Lester Maddox, George Wallace and the rest of the old time white racists were Republicans, they will not accept that all were Democrats.
I was born and raised in South Carolina and I am about to turn seventy. I can say for certain that in my youth a Republican was almost as hard to find in this state as a hairy frog and people didn’t start to vote Republican because the GOP turned racist, they did it because the Democrats under Lyndon Johnson decided they could buy the votes of black people and have a permanent majority.
What else can you expect from people who imagine that they are going to watch MSNBC and learn the truth that is hidden from them by the evil FOX NEWS?
Make that a go bag with American Gold Eagles.
Witness the death throes of the Welfare State. When spending outstrips revenue, it taxes more. When it has taxed the productive to the point where any more taxes would impact its governing majority, it borrows. When no one will lend it money anymore, it steals. The United States welfare state has reached the point where it is stealing to support its uncontrollable, unstoppable spending. And yet asking the state to cut its budget by 5% is considered monstrous.
A spending freeze is considered evil
the only thing that has been done away with, is the Constitution
now shut up. sit down. and pay the fedgov whatever they want.
you’ll find the answer to that question in the re-education camps, if you ask it again
“...Hidden in the law was a clause that the feds are entitled to any property owned by someone on Medicaid when they die.
If Grandma has no money and gets Medicaid, but owns a $200,000 house, when she dies the government scoops it up. Sorry kids, that will is meaningless now.”
And, with the new “policy”, if the NET proceeds from the sale of the $200,000 house don’t cover Grandma’s Medicaid expenditures, maybe they’ll come after Mom’s assets. And with just a minor twist to the policy, maybe the government will come after the grandchildren. Something to look forward to folks?
“Hidden in the law was a clause that the feds are entitled to any property owned by someone on Medicaid when they die.”
It had been that way for many years. So what?
Bingo! I hope they go after all the EBT and SSI parasites as well.
It will only be an “abomination” to those Rats that are affected. Remember, that the Rats are selfish, and only in it for themselves. Thus, when a fellow Rat gets screwed, it’s fine as long as “I don’t get screwed, too!”
I recently read that, including unfunded liabilities like SS and Medicare, the debt is closer to $70 trillion.
No, it hasn’t been that way for years.
This isn’t people on welfare, just the expanded Medicaid.
Any benefit they receive from it will come out of their estate when they die.
It isn’t based on net worth or assets anymore, just earnings. People are put on it automatically when they sign up for owebamacare. If their income is below 130% of the poverty level they get signed up for Medicaid whether they like it or not.
Medicaid HAS been like that for years-—welfare has nothing to do with it.
Didn’t think I needed to mark it /s.
This is the product of a fascist dictator who wants money and more money. It is illegal.
However, with the government, you have no recourse. They have access to your accounts and can, illegally, take what they want.
We live in a fascist dictatorship. Got it?