Not Living in the US Any More

by Ann
(South America)

Greetings, and thanks for your website!

I've just received a letter from an attorney representing the Attorney General for the State of xxx, saying that I owe ~$1500 in income tax to that state, plus ~$700 in interest and fees.

I lived in that state in 2002-2004 but I have never worked there and as far as I know I shouldn't owe any income taxes there. I haven't set foot in that state since April 2004. The letter has no information about why I supposedly owe the money or how it was calculated.

According to the letter, I have 30 days to dispute the debt and request validation documentation. From internet research, I've gathered that I should definitely do this in writing, by certified mail with return receipt requested.

So far, pretty mundane. Here's the complication: I moved to South America in 2006. The letter came to the PO box of a friend of mine in Texas, that I occasionally use for a US mailing address, and he e-mailed me a scan of the letter.

So when I mail my dispute letter, I'm wondering if I should have it mailed from the US, or if I should give them my new address in South America. Am I obligated to tell them my current address? Does it look bad to be living in SA? Is there a disadvantage (or perhaps even an advantage?) to telling them I am living in SA now?

It's tempting to just ignore the letter, but I'd really like to stay in compliance tax-wise, as well as maintain my credit rating in the US, which is spotless. I would just pay the debt, except I honestly don't think I owe anything.

Thanks for any perspective you can offer.

Comments for Not Living in the US Any More

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Aug 06, 2010
tax debt problems
by: Gerri & Mary

We would love to be able to help, but in this case we would strongly advise you to get help from a tax professional. Tax debts are an entirely different matter than consumer debts. We aren't trying to alarm you, but the IRS and state taxing authorities typically have additional remedies for collection that aren't available to creditors, even creditors with a judgment.

Hopefully this will be an easy matter to straighten out, but we do think this is a time where it makes sense to get some good advice.

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