Woman hounded (and fined a year's salary) by the IRS for trying to live in Seattle on $10 an Hour

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Because she only made $10 an hour cutting hair at Supercuts and lived with her two kids in a room she rented at her parent's house single mother Rachel Porcaro became the target of an IRS audit costing her tens of thousands of dollars in order to prove she was really poor. an audit driving her more deeply into poverty.

The Seattle Times reports

Rachel Porcaro knows she's hardly rich. When you're a single mom making 10 bucks an hour, you don't need government experts to tell you how broke you are.

But that's what happened. The government not only told Porcaro she was poor. They said she was too poor to make it in Seattle.

It all started a year ago, when Porcaro, a 32-year-old mom with two boys, was summoned to the Seattle office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She had been flagged for an audit.

She couldn't believe it. She made $18,992 the previous year cutting hair at Supercuts. A few hundred of that she spent to have her taxes prepared by H&R Block.

"I asked the IRS lady straight upfront -- 'I don't have anything, why are you auditing me?' " Porcaro recalled. "I said, 'Why me, when I don't own a home, a business, a car?' "

The answer stunned both Porcaro and the private tax specialist her dad had gotten to help her.

"They showed us a spreadsheet of incomes in the Seattle area," says Dante Driver, an accountant at Seattle's G.A. Michael and Co. "The auditor said, 'You made eighteen thousand, and our data show a family of three needs at least thirty-six thousand to get by in Seattle."

"They thought she must have unreported income. That she was hiding something. Basically they were auditing her for not making enough money."

Thanks to the Agitator

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This page contains a single entry by Phil Leggiere published on December 9, 2009 12:55 AM.

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