Mississippi Takes Man’s Tax Refund Twice To Pay Child Support For Kid He Doesn’t Have

It has to feel completely awful to get a letter from the government saying it’s holding onto your refund check. But even worse, as one couple found out, is the feeling of that happening twice. And then there’s this doozy: Tax officials claim the refunds were put on hold because the state of Mississippi twice has said the husband owed back child support payments. Problem is, the couple has never lived in Mississippi and the man hasn’t father a child there either. Not once, and definitely not twice.

According to a report in USA Today, the couple lives in New Mexico, and got a letter last week from the U.S. Department of Treasury stating that their $4,000 was in limbo over Mississippi’s claims. That was a surprise, to be sure, but not as much as it would be to anyone else, as this happened before.

“We have been the victims for a second time of our tax returns from the federal government being garnished over false child support claims,” the wife says.

The couple says the first time their refund was garnished was more than 10 years ago. They thought that’d been all cleared up when the man explained that his identity had been stolen as a child, and someone had been using his Social Security number.

They thought that telling that to the state Department of Human Services would clear everything up. Surprise! It didn’t.

After this latest muck-up, the couple has written a letter to state officials outlining the exhaustive efforts they’ve undertaken to clear up the situation, to no avail.

“We have called over six numbers trying to get to the bottom of this, and all we have received are apologies, a case number and circulation back to the child support call center. As honest, hardworking citizens of the United States and as New Mexicans, this is atrocious and needs to be settled immediately.”

A Department of Human Services spokeswoman declined to comment on a specific case, but said that if there is an error the money received by the state will go back to the individual.

Miss. twice nabs N.M. couple’s tax refund [USA Today]