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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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State asks living man for death certificate

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BATON ROUGE - For tax purposes, a man was asked to send in his death certificate to the Louisiana Department of Revenue — but he's not dead!

Richard "Rooster" Shaffer contacted 2 On Your Side to help sort it out after he couldn't get in touch with the state.

"Something's messed up," Shaffer said.

Last week, Shaffer got a letter in the mail that gave him a good laugh.

"I called around and asked a bunch of my friends I had seen the day before and said, 'Did I look like I was alive when I had seen you guys yesterday?'"

Earlier this year, Shaffer filed his taxes with his CPA.

The letter said the Department of Revenue was reviewing his Louisiana income tax return and they needed additional paperwork. That additional paperwork was his death certificate.

Shaffer, clearly alive, tried to call the Department of Revenue but could not get through. The prompt said they had a high call volume and couldn't accept his call.

The Department of Revenue said it could not go into detail about what happened because it involves the taxpayer's interaction with the department, but says it has identified the error and the sequence of events that led to it and made the correction.

This was an isolated incident.

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