Home New mexico tax Albuquerque couple stuck with bill for fraudulent unemployment funds

Albuquerque couple stuck with bill for fraudulent unemployment funds

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The state is requiring an Albuquerque family to pay taxes on unemployment funds they never received and they believe other families are dealing with the same problem. The Ohlsens’ puzzle began last year when a debit card arrived in the post filled with unemployment benefits they hadn’t applied for.

“It turns out the EPPI card is for unemployment benefits, which I thought was funny because my husband was still working,” Sara Ohlsen said. “I looked at him and asked him, ‘when did you apply for unemployment benefits’, and he said, ‘I didn’t’, and I said, ‘well, we have a problem.'”

Refusing to activate the debit card, Ohlsen called the Department of Workforce Solutions, the cabinet secretary, and the fraud hotline. Yet, with endless calls, she never managed to reach anyone.

“I left a detailed message with the card number, CVV number, expiration date, you call it, I gave it to them,” Ohlsen said. “I said, ‘He’s not my husband. He hasn’t filed for unemployment. This is definitely identity theft and fraud.

She says the message always said “someone will get back to you”, but no one ever did. After weeks of calls and messages, they moved on with their lives until a 1099 tax form arrived this week for nearly $16,000 in unemployment benefits.

“We’re going to have to pay taxes on this and we haven’t seen a dime of it,” Ohlsen said. “It drove me so crazy that I couldn’t see straight because I had done the right thing.”

Ohlsen soon filed another online fraud complaint. She says that after being caught off guard by the attorney general’s office — who told her to contact the governor — and even labor attorneys — who told her to contact her senator and state representative — she didn’t. don’t know what to do.

“I’m doing everything I can because I don’t think I should have to pay taxes on the money I didn’t receive,” Ohlsen said. “Very frustrated because it’s so easy now with computers unfortunately you get damaged in no time.”

The Ohlsens are both in their sixties. Frustrated and left with more questions than answers, they now worry about how fraud may affect their future – from penalties from the IRS if they don’t pay those taxes, to their retirement fund taking a hit. a hit if they do.

“What will happen, another six months before I hear from them?” Another six months of paying benefits to someone who probably doesn’t deserve them? Ohlsen said. “He would like to retire. I would like him to retire. But that kind of mistake will probably set us back a few more years, because it will have to come out of our retirement if we have to pay for it.

If you have received a 1099 form for fraudulent unemployment funds, you are urged to contact Workforce Solutions and complete their 1099 request form. Those who believe they have been victims of identity theft due to unemployment should also complete an affidavit for fraud, file a police report and call the Unemployment Insurance Fraud Tip Line at 505-243-7283. Workforce Solutions says this month alone they sent 1,099 forms to more than 170,000 New Mexicans.