Siegfried Meinstein just wants to do his civic duty and pay his taxes, but he can’t, because the IRS insists he’s dead.
As the Columbus Dispatch reports, the 94-year-old World War II veteran found out last April, to his surprise, that he’s dead.
“It isn’t really a problem in my daily life. Everybody accepts my money.”
In April 2014, Mr. Meinstein, through his accountant, attempted to file a tax return, like you do. The return was rejected, according to Fox News, along with a note which said that, according to the Social Security Administration, Mr. Meinstein was dead.
That was news to Mr. Meinstein. For one thing, with the exception of a hip injury, he’s in pretty good health, and for another, he keeps getting a Social Security check every month.
He enlisted his son, Ron, to help him straighten this out, though not before Ron got a laugh out of his dad’s plight.
“If they keep insisting, what is it you say? Eventually, they’ll be right.”
Ron and his dad went to the Social Security office in Columbus to explain their IRS troubles, and hopefully get some resolution. Social Security confirmed that, by golly, Seigreid Meinstein was very much alive, according to their records. They gave him a letter to take to the IRS — because, apparently, living and breathing is not enough to prove to the IRS that you’re alive; you need a letter.
So off to the IRS, letter in hand. The IRS was having none of that and referred the matter back to Social Security. The two federal bureaucracies fought it out, until Mr. Meinstein got another letter, this time from the IRS.
“We are unable to process your tax return. Our records indicate that the person identified as the primary taxpayer…was deceased prior the tax year show on the tax form.”
The case of an old man being stuck in a war of words (or more accurately, a war of paperwork) between two federal bureaucracies over a seemingly trivial matter is nothing compared to the case Indian government paper-pusher A.K. Verma. According to this Inquisitr report, Mr. Verma simply stopped going to work one day. Thanks to the inefficiency and mountains of paperwork requirements of the Indian government, it took his bosses 24 years to get around to firing him.
As for Mr. Meinstein, since his visits to Social Security and the IRS, he’s actually gotten another letter from the tax collectors: they wanted to remind him that, though he’s dead, he has a $14,000 prepaid tax credit for 2014.