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Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

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Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby Bwis53 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:38 pm

I had to give the bank back a month's social security payment because my mom died (in '05) before that payment was deposited. It took about ten days to get death certificates because it was just before Christmas.

The article in the link annoys me because they're getting away with it.

http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/04/1 ... dium=email
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Re: Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby HawkHead » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:10 pm

Bwis53 wrote:I had to give the bank back a month's social security payment because my mom died (in '05) before that payment was deposited. It took about ten days to get death certificates because it was just before Christmas.

The article in the link annoys me because they're getting away with it.

http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/04/1 ... dium=email


Sorry, I don't feel bad about the "whole" thing just how they did.

Your mother's estate got extra "money" that didn't belong to it. It should have been repaid then. Instead, the extra money benefited the heirs. So the IRS finds out who the heirs are and takes it back from them.

It sure would be nice if the IRS wrote a letter to describe what happened or gave a way to allocate the payments between siblings. But the money was/is their money in the first place.
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Re: Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby green union terrace chair » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:53 pm

I can see the SSA making a claim against the deceased's estate.

I cannot understand how the SSA can get the IRS to automatically seize tax refunds without proving that the descendant was a beneficiary of the deceased.

I hope they're not being REALLY shitty and charging interest, but it wouldn't surprise me if they are.
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Re: Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby Bwis53 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:29 pm

To clarify, I understood why I had to give one month's advance benefits back.

When I read the story I just couldn't believe that they could do this after long periods of time elapsed and to unsuspecting heirs, with no proof, as if the people were supposed to know better. Were they supposed to be doing the SSA's job for them? It's too bad there's no such thing as a "reverse audit"!
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Re: Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby Steve Vokers » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:24 pm

I think that they are on pretty shaky ground. In a lot of cases they don't have any records to back up the debt, nor do they have any evidence that the people they are taking the tax refunds from actually benefitted from the money paid in error.

I suspect there haven't been a lot of lawsuits because the amounts aren't generally large. But I fully expect them to get sued, and to lose.
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Re: Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:58 pm

Doesn't Social Security pay in arrears and the recipient needs to be eligible for the (entire) last month paid? The deceased loses eligiblity.
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Re: Feds can screw you for overpaying parent's SS

Postby Steve Vokers » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:24 pm

Social Security stops trying to collect old debts

The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.

The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to Social Security. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” Social Security’s acting commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.


Bad publicity + lawsuits = win for the people.
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