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Shakedown: Treasury seizing tax refunds from adult children to pay parents' Social Security debts
Hotair ^ | 04/11/2014 | AllahPundit

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 — it’s 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 Mary’s 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 can’t 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 father’s first wife, whom she never knew — had received benefits under her father’s account. The government doesn’t 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?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: adultchildren; debts; irs; irsscandals; irsshakedown; parentsdebts; socialsecurity; ssa; taxrefunds; treasury
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1 posted on 04/11/2014 12:33:11 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Getting a tax refund is giving the gubmit an interest free loan for a year.


2 posted on 04/11/2014 12:35:31 PM PDT by AU72
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To: SeekAndFind
...."since when are children responsible for their parents’ obligations?"

It appears to me they are going to be responsible for 17 trillion.

3 posted on 04/11/2014 12:36:02 PM PDT by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: SeekAndFind

In ancient times children were held responsible for their parent’s debts. I thought the constitution did away with that. Am I mistaken?


4 posted on 04/11/2014 12:36:45 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: SeekAndFind

Everyone is a criminal in Acirema - except for Mohammedans, illegal aliens, union thugs, blacks, homosexuals and the mental incompetants in Versailles on the Potomac.


5 posted on 04/11/2014 12:36:52 PM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: AU72
"Getting a tax refund is giving the gubmit an interest free loan for a year."

You would be surprised how many people do not comprehend that fact.

6 posted on 04/11/2014 12:38:15 PM PDT by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


7 posted on 04/11/2014 12:39:30 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: mosaicwolf; AU72

Many who get refunds paid nothing in, mostly Democrats


8 posted on 04/11/2014 12:39:47 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: NTHockey

Everyone? That’s about 48% of the population you just listed there!


9 posted on 04/11/2014 12:40:10 PM PDT by MNDude
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To: SeekAndFind
Unfreakinbelievable! Fedzilla is completely out of control. Maybe this will wake America up?
10 posted on 04/11/2014 12:41:28 PM PDT by Pajamajan (Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Are they going after those that received welfare benefits? Fairness to me says that they would go after those people first.


11 posted on 04/11/2014 12:41:52 PM PDT by boycott
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To: mosaicwolf

It is far more than that when you count unfunded liabilities such as SS and Mediscare.


12 posted on 04/11/2014 12:42:05 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: AU72

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......


13 posted on 04/11/2014 12:43:59 PM PDT by stockpirate (Only a tidal wave of tyrants blood will return our tree of liberty......)
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To: Gen.Blather

“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.


14 posted on 04/11/2014 12:45:55 PM PDT by jim_trent
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To: stockpirate
Wait till people start hiding wealth and the government comes to their homes and takes them away

They'll find out that garnishment is not something you put on your salad.

15 posted on 04/11/2014 12:46:20 PM PDT by AU72
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To: Pajamajan

If it wakes up liberals they’ll claim it’s the republicans’ fault and continue to vote for those who are taking their money.


16 posted on 04/11/2014 12:48:17 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: SeekAndFind

We just need to bring back debtors’ prisons to fix all of this....oh, wait...


17 posted on 04/11/2014 12:48:21 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Leeches Rosie....


18 posted on 04/11/2014 12:51:20 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: AU72

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.


19 posted on 04/11/2014 12:51:55 PM PDT by Texas resident (The democrat party is now the CPUSA)
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To: SeekAndFind

Waiting for Obama’s response. I’m sure a reporter will ask about this/s


20 posted on 04/11/2014 12:54:41 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: SeekAndFind

well THIS is certainly going to go down well for the Democrats with an election coming up.


21 posted on 04/11/2014 12:56:02 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


22 posted on 04/11/2014 12:56:48 PM PDT by Haiku Guy (Health Care Haiku: If You Have a Right / To the Labor I Provide / I Must Be Your Slave)
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To: NTHockey

In other words everyone is a criminal except the REAL criminals, right?


23 posted on 04/11/2014 12:57:03 PM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


24 posted on 04/11/2014 12:57:10 PM PDT by kevslisababy
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To: Texas resident

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.


25 posted on 04/11/2014 1:02:51 PM PDT by Bobalu (Four Cokes And A Fried Chicken)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


26 posted on 04/11/2014 1:03:53 PM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: boycott

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.


27 posted on 04/11/2014 1:06:01 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: SeekAndFind
The farm bill that passed in 2011 lifted the 10-year statute of limitations on debts owed to the feds. 

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.

-PJ

28 posted on 04/11/2014 1:07:22 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


29 posted on 04/11/2014 1:07:41 PM PDT by Principled (Obama: Unblemished by success.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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?


30 posted on 04/11/2014 1:08:20 PM PDT by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: SeekAndFind

This won’t stop until people start dying. It’s as simple as that.


31 posted on 04/11/2014 1:09:05 PM PDT by Noumenon (Resistance. Restoration. Retribution.)
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To: Cementjungle

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.


32 posted on 04/11/2014 1:09:35 PM PDT by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: All

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.


33 posted on 04/11/2014 1:10:08 PM PDT by QT3.14 (Obama Socialized Health Insurance Tax ( O S H I T ))
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To: imardmd1

“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.


34 posted on 04/11/2014 1:15:38 PM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


35 posted on 04/11/2014 1:17:50 PM PDT by drunknsage
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To: SeekAndFind
Another reason for arranging NOT to get a refund.
36 posted on 04/11/2014 1:19:33 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: VerySadAmerican

“If it wakes up liberals they’ll claim it’s 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?


37 posted on 04/11/2014 1:20:47 PM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: Principled
For later, have a passport in force and a go bag with cash.

Make that a go bag with American Gold Eagles.

38 posted on 04/11/2014 1:20:59 PM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


39 posted on 04/11/2014 1:21:07 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

A spending freeze is considered evil


40 posted on 04/11/2014 1:21:55 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Gen.Blather

the only thing that has been done away with, is the Constitution

now shut up. sit down. and pay the fedgov whatever they want.
why?

you’ll find the answer to that question in the re-education camps, if you ask it again


41 posted on 04/11/2014 1:25:42 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Beagle8U

“...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?


42 posted on 04/11/2014 1:39:04 PM PDT by House Atreides
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To: Beagle8U

“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?

.


43 posted on 04/11/2014 1:44:59 PM PDT by Mears
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To: GeronL

Bingo! I hope they go after all the EBT and SSI parasites as well.


44 posted on 04/11/2014 1:45:11 PM PDT by SgtHooper
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To: Buckeye McFrog

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!”


45 posted on 04/11/2014 1:48:39 PM PDT by SgtHooper
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I recently read that, including unfunded liabilities like SS and Medicare, the debt is closer to $70 trillion.


46 posted on 04/11/2014 1:49:36 PM PDT by Reddy (bo stinks)
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To: Mears

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.


47 posted on 04/11/2014 1:57:42 PM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: Beagle8U

Medicaid HAS been like that for years-—welfare has nothing to do with it.

.


48 posted on 04/11/2014 2:00:54 PM PDT by Mears
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To: MNDude

Didn’t think I needed to mark it /s.


49 posted on 04/11/2014 2:01:43 PM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: SeekAndFind

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?


50 posted on 04/11/2014 2:04:04 PM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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