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If you had documentation showing you had paid, how come the IRS was asking about it? They should have had the records, too. I don't understand this.

Well, we were pretty darned perplexed ourselves, particularly as they had kept track of our social security payments just fine, but the US territory we were in had a parallel but separate tax system and the tax dollars stayed on the island. They were inept at best, and had never shared with the Feds that we had payed our legally required taxes. Fortunately, we had been advised to bring a copy of our return when we dropped off our taxes in person, and have them stamped as received with an official dated stamp. We kept them for all the 9 years we were there. I'll never throw out a tax document again.

Even with all those docs it took over 18 months and a tax payer advocate on our side to straighten it all out. Seems as though once the IRS realized that fixing the issue would not bring them more revenue, they didn't want to deal with it. Had to go through the process of overnighting copies of our copies three times, starting over with the explanations every time a new letter was received and a new person assigned to the case. When asked by the IRS the department of revenue on the island either couldn't be bothered to try to find our docs when asked to do so, or they never kept them.

That was one part of coming back home I could have done without. I still get chills every time I see a letter from the IRS, knowing what a PITA it can be to deal with them even if we've done no wrong.

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