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Tax return rejected after dependents wrongfully claimed

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HOLDEN - After her tax return was rejected two years in a row, mother of three Melissa Peavy says she's fed up.

"I'm just angry," said Peavy. "I'm angry, not for myself, but for my children."

Two of her children have been claimed as dependants on a stranger's tax return.

"To think that someone you know of someone might know you does that, I mean, I don't know if it would be better if a complete stranger was the one doing it," said Peavy. "Either way, it's really scary."

It's called fraudulently claiming a dependant. In addition to perjury, it could cost the offender up to $225,000 and three years in prison. To report the fraud, the tax payer must go through an appeals process, and amend their return.

Peavy's tax preparer, James Grey, says the IRS hasn't been very helpful in the matter.

"They said, 'Thank you for telling us.' There's nothing they can do about it," said Grey.

An adult can file and get a PIN number if their identity is stolen, but there is no information about minors.

"If you can stop a crime before it happens, why not stop it then," asked Peavy.


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