The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is going after a single mother with two kids who makes $10 an hour at Supercuts. When she asked why she was being audited, the IRS told her: "You made eighteen thousand, and our data show a family of three needs at least thirty-six thousand to get by in Seattle."
She had a yearlong odyssey into the maw of the IRS. After being told she couldn't survive in Seattle on so little, she was notified her returns for both 2006 and 2007 had been found "deficient." She owed the government more than $16,000 – almost an entire year's pay.
$10 an hour with 2 kids? IRS pounces
She couldn't pay it. Her dad, Rob, has run a local painting business, Porcaro Power Painting, for 30 years. He asked his accountant, Driver, for help.
Rachel's returns weren't all that complicated. At issue, though, was that she and her two sons, ages 10 and 8, were all living at her parents' house in Rainier Beach (she pays $400 a month rent). So the IRS concluded she wasn't providing for her children and therefore couldn't claim them as dependents.
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