Woman calls 12 On Your Side about delayed tax refund

Updated: Jun. 13, 2017 at 8:37 PM EDT
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(WWBT) - A cancer patient says she tried numerous times to find out what happened to her missing tax return, but she says she could not get an actual person on the phone at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to check on the status of her money.

Jennifer Barnett called 12 On Your Side to help.

Thanks to the IRS media relations team, Jennifer got a call Tuesday morning. They put her in touch with the Taxpayer Advocate Service.  That person tracked down the refund and why it was delayed.

Jennifer says she checked the IRS website every day since March and never got answers, just an occasional prompt claiming her refund was being
processed.  She says she exerted tremendous effort but got no answers.

"Just the frustration of not being able to pay bills and getting so behind on them, having to take out loans just to try to keep things going, and just constantly looking on Google or asking others if they knew a number," said Jennifer.

Jennifer has Stage 4 breast cancer.  She's undergoing radiation and chemotherapy and met with doctors on Tuesday to discuss surgery. She was counting on the refund to keep from falling deeper in debt.

"We have our medical bills and people that work for the companies in the hospitals that I go to," said Jennifer. "They have to come in and sign contracts saying that I am going to pay a certain amount each month and in order to do that, I actually have gotten behind in my other bills."

NBC12 reached out to the Internal Revenue Service Monday night and had a conversation with a representative about Jennifer's unfortunate dilemma.

An email arrived Tuesday morning putting Jennifer in contact with the Taxpayer Advocate Service. The IRS says the delay occurred because they needed more information from Jennifer.  Now that they are in touch, the process will be expedited. Jennifer sent a thank you email soon after.

If you have a similar problem, contact the Richmond Taxpayer Advocate office at 804-916-3501.

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