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.