The Lingering Nuisance of Tax Issues

taxesI have seen several reports that discuss that symptoms of dementia can be present up to ten years prior to any type of diagnosis. I know that it took our family several years to finally get my parent’s diagnosed officially. That was well after my siblings and I held two interventions to share our concerns around our parent’s living and driving arrangements.

We noticed behavioral changes, witnessed problems handling home maintenance, and a growing number of dings on their car bumpers. We were primarily concerned for their health and welfare.

Today I had to follow-up on an state tax notice about returns not being filed. The notice is for returns related to my mom’s antique repair business. It’s also covering the period of 2005. I know in the past my sister had to chase down tax issues for my parents.

Two weeks ago I placed the first call. After navigating the phone system, I finally reach a person who tells me they can’t help me because they need a copy of the Durable Power of Attorney giving me the ability to represent my mom. I faxed it in and followed up today to resolve the issue. After 40 minutes in a variety of queues and in speaking with two different divisions of the state tax department, I finally reach the person who can help me resolve the issue.

When she starts asking me for my mom’s address and phone number, I let her know my mom is in the care of a dementia community and is unable to speak on her own behalf. I also tell her I have only been doing mom’s taxes for 2 years and never gotten a notice until now.  I tell her that we no longer have copies of the 2005 taxes because we followed the guidance that says you keep them for 7 years. I just ask her what I need to do to resolve the issue.

The representative is very kind and asks a few follow-up questions. She tells me she is going to resolve this issue. Apparently, mom was sending in the money, but never sending in the Sales and Tax Use reports that were to be filed with her payments.

I wish there was something I could have done when I first noticed problems, but I’m not really sure it would have changed the outcome. I am just glad this was a relatively easy lingering tax issue that is now resolved. Completed. 

10 thoughts on “The Lingering Nuisance of Tax Issues

  1. I’m glad it was resolved so easily. Here, dealing with officialdom is rarely so simple, especially as they won’t accept copies or faxes of the Power of Attorney document. They insist on seeing the original, which they then photocopy. That’s fine if it’s an office nearby but sometimes it has to be posted – and I never know if it will arrive okay or be returned. It did always come back but I wonderf if the tax office or social services would pay for the cost of a new Power of Attorney document, especially if they said they hadn’t received the original. Like being down the rabbit hole sometimes!

  2. It is in the early stages, when it is impossible to know how much cognitive impairment is affecting a loved one, that we tend to second guess ourselves. How much to take over? How much to sit back and just keep an eye out? Glad it has all worked out well.

  3. Spotting the signs of decline in cognitive function is dificult. My intial diagnosis of things here was way out. You wouldn’t believe what I have found in the last few months. I couldn’t have done much about the condition if I had spotted it earlier but my reaction to some incidents would have been rather different. No-one would listen to my initial concerns and that made life extremely difficult. Hindsight is a wonderful luxury in our thinking!

  4. Sadly, because finances are a taboo subject, especially with the elderly, when we do finally find out there is a problem it is then so very complicated to work thru. And finances is a very key indicator that something is “not quite right”. Am glad for you it wasn’t so very complicated. I have heard some horror stories….as I am sure we all have.

    1. Thankfully my patents added me to the bank account so I could keep an eye and we only had some minor issues. Doing management together can help, but it is very much a tough issue for many reasons.

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