Am I still ME?

Since I live abroad I had until June 15th to file my 2011 tax return.  Imagine my surprise when it was not accepted because apparently somebody stole my identity and filed a tax return under my SS number.  Now so far there hasn’t been anything else affected, but what I really want to know is if whoever did this PAID the taxes that I owe!!!  Alas, probably not……….

As difficult as it is when something like this happens, add the fact that it happened while I’m on another continent!  I feel very badly for my sister who has to do the follow-up, exercising her Power of Attorney on my behalf and dealing with the mess.   As someone recently reminded me, I don’t like it very much when I have to ask for help–too independent!  At the same time it makes me acutely aware of how grateful I am for family and friends that are always there for me.  In that respect I am endlessly blessed!

This situation brought me to a whole new level of introspection.  Identity theft?It’s one thing to live in a different country, learn a new culture, speak a different language (poorly), and socialize with different people.  That is all additive!  I still have my family and friends in America, I still have the God-given package of attributes I was born with and the sum total of experiences I’ve accumulated in 55 years.

Yes, I’m outraged!  It was NOT fun to spend 5 hours on Skype with financial institutions, credit bureaus, SS office, and FTC.  I’m angry that my sister has this mess to clean up and the fine folks living in my house now have to watch for IRS  notices and additional signs of fraud.  Anyone would feel angry and violated.  But I’m still me.

At the Monastery with president of the Wood Carver’s Association

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3 responses to “Am I still ME?

  1. WOW Linda. This is scary–where are people’s morals and such. I hope they find whoever did this–they must string him up by their finger nails!!! I’m soo sory to hear of this.

  2. Hi LInda! (this is the real Linda?) What a mess. Perhaps not comfort, but do you remember Bob Gelston? Designer? He had the same thing happen to him. Except he was not in another country and the person didn’t file taxes. Now that boggles the mind. I’m with Velma on stringing up the criminal by fingernails… or maybe pulling them out one by one.

  3. Unfortunately the IRS doesn’t have many checkpoints on their system so this is all too commen. Too bad they didn’t pay your taxes for you! Hang in there— you are still YOU!

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