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PSA concerning old tax and financial information - my story

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
The “Can’t Go Into the Basement” thread prompted me to share my story about old financial and tax records. Consider it a public service announcement. It deals with local school occupation taxes, which some readers may not have in their area but are common in the northeast.

Recently a collection agency contacted my employer to inform them that they would be sending a wage attachment for back taxes from 1997. The taxes and collection fees exceeded $1,000.

When I called the agency, the representative handling my case had the attitude of “too bad, there is no statue of limitations on local taxes, prove you paid the taxes or we have a legal right to attach your wages.”

When I called the local taxing authority, they were helpful, to a point. They explained to me that every year, the school district turns over (basically sells) uncollected taxes to the recovery service. The recovery service can take as long as they want to collect the outstanding taxes.

The lady told me how the recovery agency will go back as far as 30 years. All this seemed unbelievable but when I asked around, I discovered it is true.

Fortunately, I had both the cancelled check as well as the stamped receipt, proving I had paid the taxes. Had I de-cluttered 10+ year old tax information, I would have had a real fight on my hands with the collection agency.

I am all for de-cluttering but I will always keep financial information relating to taxes.
post #2 of 2
wow, that is so crazy! and so wrong. i'm glad you had the proof to back yourself up, but i feel bad for people who don't, even though they paid the tax. that's sick.
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