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Anchorage Family Surprised by $450,000 Tax Bill

By Lacie Grosvold, Multimedia Journalist, lgrosvold@ktuu.com
Published On: Jan 12 2014 11:20:00 AM AKST

Identity thieves leave an Anchorage family facing a huge IRS bill.

ANCHORAGE -

Few people look forward to a letter from the Internal Revenue Service, but an Anchorage family was shocked by the what showed up in the mailbox Friday.

Veronica Pearson said her son, Wayne, received notice from the IRS that claimed he owed more than $450,000.

The paperwork detailed income from businesses across the country, but Pearson said she is absolutely certain it has nothing to do with her son.

"He's with me almost 24-7," Pearson said of her son, who suffers from various mental health issues. "He lives here with us. He will for the rest of his life."

Her son is unable to work.

Pearson suspects her son's information got out through a security breach by his medical care provider and that she started making calls immediately to address the problem.

"They were very cooperative," Pearson said of the IRS. "They were right on game. They are absolutely closing this and will be sending me a letter in 30 days."

Even though the family will not have to pay up for the apparent fraud, the process of getting her son's name cleared has taken a fair amount of work.

Not everyone who suffers from mental illness like her son has someone keeping a close eye on their finances, she said.

"You don't pick on animals," Pearson said, "You don't pick on babies and you don't pick on people who can't fight for themselves."