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Ask Merlo Your Own Question
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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am a single woman with 3 kids. Back in 1994,1995, and 1996

Customer Question

am a single woman with 3 kids. Back in 1994,1995, and 1996 I used to live in NY and used to babysit for a living. I filed for taxes and they never came. I totally forgot about it until 1 day back in 2005 I called the irs and the person told me that i had a pretty decent amount of money that was earning interest and that i need to get it out. Look i still babysit for a living (nanny) and I still get my income tax checks. But the irs wont give me that money cause according to them I need more information. This sis something that happend more than 10 years ago what can I do to get the money out since life is so expensive as it is and i truly need the money.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello emer,

What type of information is the IRS asking you to provide?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Proof of me babysitting. which still am doing that and i claim myself self employed
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again emer,

I am still a little confused as to just exactly what your situation is.

Are you saying that for the years 1994 through 1996, you filed tax returns and had a refund coming to you, but the refunds were never received?

If that is the case, has the IRS acknowledged that this money is due to you for those tax years?

Are they wanting proof that you did babysitting back in 1994 through 1996 or proof of your current babysitting job?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

for # XXXXX

I never received the refunds


for # XXXXX

yes, they know they got the money, they wont give it



they want proof of the past ones not my current one

Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
And did you file a tax return for those 3 years?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes i did.
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again emer,

One more question. Was part or all of the refund that you are due from claiming the earned income credit?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

look am going to say i guess, back the when i did it i was 23 and not paying attention to what the man was doing. all i know is that the refund id there and they wont release it and i need to find a way to do it


Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again emer,

I would have to assume that all or at least a good portion of your refund is due to the earned income credit being claimed, otherwise the IRS would not be asking you for this information.

The problem is that the earned income credit is a credit which is available to taxpayers who are in a low income bracket, and the credit is actually for an amount over and above any tax you ever actually paid in. When that is the case, if you report earnings from self employment, the IRS wants to see proof that you really had that income.

If you had been employed in a regular job, then the IRS would have earnings records from your employer. However, in the case of someone like you who is self employed, it becomes your obligation to provide proof of the employment.

In order to be eligible to receive the earned income credit, a taxpayer must have at least some income for the year. The problem is that there are some taxpayers who try to "abuse" this credit by reporting a small amount of income from self employment, just to qualify for the credit, even though they really had no income at all. That is why the IRS asks for proof of this type employment, and so you will have to show them something that can substantiate that you actually had this income.

I realize that it may be difficult for you to come up with such proof after all these years, but that will be the only way you can have this refund released and sent to you.

If you can possibly contact any of the people that you worked for during those years and have them sign an affidavit or statement which verifies that you performed babysitting services for them, this might satisfy the IRS requirements. But you will definitely need to show them something which verifies that you did have income from babysitting for those years, otherwise they will not release these refunds.

Thank you emer, and please let me know if you have more questions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

do you think that maybe i can get a copy of does tax files from the irs?


Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again emer,

Unfortunately, the IRS does not keep copies of any tax returns that are over 7 years old, so it would be impossible to get a copy from the IRS.

The only way you might possibly get a copy of your return is if you could locate the person who filed your taxes for you, and even then, he may not have records that go back that far.

I think your easiest solution will be to try and get a signed statement from at least one or two of the individuals that you worked for. I realize that may not really be easy, but I am afraid that it will be next to impossible for you to get a copy of these returns due to their age.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button.

Thank you again emer, and please let me know if you have more questions.