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New Jersey Sends Erroneous Note to Taxpayers Telling Them to Pay Up, Forgets to Say Oops

Around 2,000 New Jersey taxpayers were sent a note from the state saying they underpaid their 2013 tax liabilities. OK, that happens.

Thing is, they didn't actually owe any money:

Meg Bracelin of Long Valley received one of the warnings.

"I knew I made all of my estimated tax payments per my accountant’s instructions," she said. "As a citizen I thought to myself, ‘They already have quite enough of my money.'"

She said she almost paid the $410 bill, but at the last minute called her tax preparer, Gail Rosen.

While Rosen investigated Bracelin’s case, she said she heard from a lot of her other estimated tax clients who said they received the same notice. After talking to other accountants whose estimated tax clients also received the notices, Rosen said she realized the issue was more widespread.

What’s worse, Rosen said, is that the state hasn’t sent new notices to taxpayers to tell them there was an error.

"What worries me is that some taxpayers are just going to pay this erroneous bill that they don’t owe because they just want it to go away," she said.

See, this is why you need a qualified professional to defend you from those greedy, money-stealing government jerks. Just thinking "they already have quite enough of my money" isn't quite the same thing as your tax professional taking a look at notices and realizing the state screwed up.

The state told the mailings were in error, but also said they aren't too worried about letting taxpayers know:

"All of the accounts have been corrected. Those taxpayers do not owe anything," [said Department of Treasury spokesman Joseph Perone], noting the error was fixed quickly. "It is unfortunate for those taxpayers, but it had a relatively small impact because we have 3.9 million filers."

No biggie, guys.