Revenue department admits tax letter mistake

10:40 AM, Feb 16, 2011   |    comments
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The Colorado Department of Revenue admits it made a mistake by sending lien and garnish letters to thousands of banks.

Tania McEvoy says she's one of the taxpayers affected by the mistake.

Instead of running her IT business, Absolute Performace Inc., McEvoy spent a good chunk of her day on Tuesday on the phone trying to get a hold of someone from the Revenue Department.

"I spent several hours today trying to find out when the state was going to give me the money back that I didn't owe," McEvoy said on Tuesday afternoon.

McEvoy was checking her bank account statement and noticed her bank sent $735.78 to the State of Colorado.

The bank told her they sent the funds because the state said she owed sales tax.

"I said, 'I don't have a tax levy, can you send me the documentation on that?' And so they sent me the garnishment notice from the State of Colorado," McEvoy said.

McEvoy looked online, and noticed the Revenue Department posted a letter on their site that says in part "...some of the letters were mailed in error."

Here is the entire message:

"The Colorado Department of Revenue mailed out notices dated January 28, 2011 for Lien and Garnishment under distraint for collection of delinquent state taxes. Some of the letters were mailed in error. For those letters that were sent in error a follow up letter dated February 4, 2011 was issued and mailed to individuals/businesses letting the individual/businesses know to disregard the previous notice. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding this may have caused. If you have any questions, please call 303-205-8291."

"I've learned from our bank that it's happened to a lot of their customers and they're scrambling and waiting on hold with the State of Colorado also," McEvoy said.

The Revenue Department admits it sent out 5,700 letters to banks and other entities by mistake on Jan. 28.

It also says on Feb. 4, another letter went out telling the banks to disregard that notice.

McEvoy says in her case, it was too late.

"I would understand if they had sent me a notification and I had the opportunity to call them and ask what it was about, but they sent this garnishment notice to my bank," McEvoy said.

McEvoy says she's received those letters in the past.

Mark Couch, spokesperson for the Revenue Department said, "Typically we send these notices directly to the taxpayer and not the bank. The department apologizes for the error and any inconvenience it has caused."

The Revenue Department says in nearly every case, the taxpayer who had money taken from the state does owe them some taxes.

McEvoy doesn't think she owes the state any money, but the state can't confirm that for 9NEWS because of privacy rules.

"I'd like to know when it's going to get put back," McEvoy said.

If this mistake affects you, the Revenue Department suggests you call 303-205-8291.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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