Husband 47 pernentally disabled 2017 die to stage 4 brain and lung cancer that has taken away his vision. I am 49 I am his caregiver. We have 2 children 16 and 20. 20 year old full time college. In 2017 we paid 24,000 between cobra and prescriptions. To get that money we had to withdraw from 401k. That’s where the tax liability occurred. Irs deemed us uncollectible. State of nj doesn’t have any programs, I am at a loss. I just sent in for a payment plan 100 a month but we owe 11,000 and the 100 doesn’t touch anything. We haven’t been sent to pioneer yet. The nj rep was of no help!!! My husband receives ssdi of 2,351 per month and our youngest receives 1175 per month. That’s it, that’s our income for 4 people. We have received assistance for electric, oil, now on nj family care, tuition grants etc however Noone from state of nj will help me. I don’t know where to turn.
First, you paid NJ taxes on some of that money when NJ had no "matching" retirement plans that the Feds had. So that may reduce your liability because you, at least, had "basis" with State of NJ. It is always up to the taxpayer to show there is basis (e.g. How would a tax collector know the purchase price plus improvements of a house you lived in? That's the basis in the house. I realize this is a bad example due to there being a$250,000 exclusion of house profits at the Federal level.)
Basically you're talking about digging up old tax returns. First, there are computer records called "transcripts" of each taxpayer's account with your return and tax payment. I don't know how far you can "go back" in NJ. One of my brothers or sisters in the bar will give you a better estimate of how far you can "go back" for 'Jersey tax. I have never needed more than the last three years.
I hate to tell you the second action may be to file a bankruptcy (bk). Amazingly, there is an automatic stay on your finances that NJ will honor. Don't be ashamed: any bk lawyer will tell you at least half their cases involve serious disability. Thanks to the guy in the ovel office et al, bk is, again, the "major medical" alternative for most Americans. Again one of my coleuges will tell you more about bk,
Third, now that there is a Democatic Governor. The Consumer Advocate's Office will reopen after 8 years of being closed. In extreme cases like yours, I believe they will intervene -- it's not tax work, it's human rights work. The General Guardian is also "in but not of" that department, whom, unfortunately, your husband probably needs.
I am sure other attorneys will have other ideas -- hopefully better than mine -- because the alternatives above are so extreme.
Good luck -- I assure you there is light at the "end of the tunnel."
The above is not legal advice. To give legal advice, I would need to know many more facts and particulars. It is simply a commentary on an interesting question posed by a member of the public and it is answered, under the Constitution, as free speech for the public good. Beware that the answer may be wrong or not apply in all situations. You must privately consult with an attorney to have your exact question in your particular situation answered accurately. No attorney-client relationship exists and no such relationship is anticipated from the answer. The answer is made to provide a commentary or a resource to all members of the public in the future and is not actually made solely for the benefit of the particular person asking the question in the present. Thank you and good luck.
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