RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Kemauri is busy being a typical 5-year-old, focused on kindergarten, activities, and playing with friends, but her parents are worried about a lurking danger that she won't even think about for years to come. "It bothers me. It bothers me," said the child's mother, Maura Sexton.
When Kemauri was just a baby, someone stole her social security card out of her mother's car. During the next tax filing cycle, her mother says her electronic return was rejected because someone else had claimed her daughter as a dependent on their return. "I got a paper form. I had to fill out fraud paperwork from the IRS and then I did not get my returns back until the first week of September," Sexton said.
Sexton received a PIN that was supposed make her information more secure and was told an investigation was launched into who had used her daughter's identity, but it didn't stop there. She says two more times, someone else has claimed her daughter on their taxes before she has had a chance to file. Her electronic claim was been rejected two more times, including this year. Not only does it take longer to for her to get her return, but each time she has to prove that Kemauri is her daughter.
"I have to have a copy of the birth certificate, my driver's license. It is very frustrating. Every year, I have to do the paper form, and they tell me that they go after the person that is claiming her on his taxes, but he's claiming her every year so how to you go after someone who's claiming my child but they're able to do it every year," Sexton said.
While IRS officials were not able to give information specific to Sexton's case because of privacy laws, they did say they matter is under investigation. They also provided information on how Sexton may submit a written request for a copy of the fraudulent return which may yield clues as to who is illegally claiming her daughter, which is information Sexton says she's verbally requested before. "I've contacted the IRS to see if they can tell me perhaps who's filing my child. They won't give out any information they say have to protect that person's identity," Sexton said.
This time, the family is hoping it will be different. "They don't know who she is. They don't even know how she looks. They just do this every year, and we have to deal with the frustration of trying to file our taxes," said the child's stepfather Freddie Sexton.
"I would like to see whoever is claiming my daughter caught. I would like to see them persecuted. I would like to see them under federal charges and investigation I would like to see something happening," Maura Sexton said.
Sexton has been told the investigation into her case will take about 120 days, but she's only cautiously optimistic because she says she's been told that before.
If you believe you have or your child has become a victim of tax fraud, there's a procedure the IRS follows to get to the bottom of it. It usually involves filing a paper return and filling out an identity theft affidavit.
Click here for all of that information and more on how you can protect your credit or your child's credit.
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