KSN Investigates follow-up: Veteran confused for dead gets IRS refund

KSN Investigates

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita veteran can breathe a little easier now that the IRS knows and acknowledges he is alive.

We first reported on Franklin Jackson’s case in a KSN Investigates report in February. The IRS listed the Wichita veteran as deceased. Jackson was having trouble convincing the IRS he was alive and deserved two years’ worth of income tax refunds.

After KSN started asking questions and his story aired, Franklin now has all of his money from the government.

“It’s easy to lose hope, but there are people out there willing to help you, and sometimes it’s just a matter of getting your story out,” Jackson said.

Jackson reached out to KSN after he spent two years trying to get the problem fixed. The IRS owed him $3,504 from his 2018 and 2019 income tax refunds.

When KSN started asking questions in January, the IRS said it couldn’t comment on his case, citing “privacy concerns.” A representative said we should reach out to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Days later, Jackson got a letter from the SSA saying, “Our records have never shown you as deceased. If the IRS needs proof of this, we can provide you a letter indicating our records show you are alive.”

We also reached out to Senators Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran, and Congressman Ron Estes, who also reached out to the IRS to find out why the IRS kept listing Jackson as dead.

“Be persistent, because it’s easy to get beat down by the system,” Jackson said.

Now that he has his money, he was able to invest in the biggest purchase of his life — his very own home.

“It means I can relax a little bit,” Jackson said. “I’m not quite as crunched on money as I was, and moving, there are a lot of expenses, so it makes it a lot easier for me.”

The house is his next work in progress, but compared to the stress he felt during his tax refund runaround, it’s a good problem to have.

“You guys have been great,” said Jackson. “Without you making that initial story for me and opening the doors, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now so thank you.”

If you are ever in this situation, you can always reach out to your elected officials. This help includes problems with your income tax refunds, utility bills, or your veteran benefits. They have people on their staff who work on these problems on a daily basis.

It is also a good idea to get things in writing. It’s an official document, and you’ll have precise information on what happened and when it happened. If you do this, it also helps you hold the right people accountable.

KSN Digital Extra: Congressional inquiries and getting help from lawmakers

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