The Problem Caused By An Illinois Woman’s Work In Indiana On Cross-state Tax Returns

The Problem Caused By An Illinois Woman's Work In Indiana On Cross-state Tax Returns

CBS Chicago – It’s been said that taxes and death are the two certainties in life.

For a suburban lady whose battle over her 2020 return wages on, taxes were even more agonizing. Even though she engaged a tax expert and is an accountant, she ended herself in a complicated legal dispute.

For the purposes of this narrative, Hailey Veath is a proud graduate of Ball State University in Indiana, a fiancée, and a dog mother. There, she even obtained a master’s degree and made a few thousand dollars assisting instructors.

“I filed my taxes in 2021 for tax year 2020,” she stated. “All was, you know, hunky dory [and] filed in Indiana.”

Veath’s permanent Illinois address was used on her tax return, which was problematic. She only filed state income taxes in Indiana that year, but in the eyes of the Land of Lincoln, she was a resident of Illinois.

“It was just disheartening and frustrating to say the least,” Veath stated.

She was discussing the notices she received from the Illinois Department of Revenue requesting payment of taxes, despite having already paid Indiana. That year, Veath engaged H&R Block to handle her taxes, and the preparer volunteered to reply to the unsettling-sounding mailings from Illinois.

“She said she would make it go away, and I trusted her,” Veath stated.

The H&R Block preparer’s letters had no effect on the Illinois taxman’s decision. Veath paid almost $800 in taxes, fines, and interest in December 2023, despite having already made her Indiana payment.

“Then I reached out to CBS 2 to say, ‘Hey, can somebody look into this?'” Veath spoken.

Joe Bigane and other independent tax experts were given access to Veath’s returns by the Illinois CPA Society, which CBS 2 contacted directly.

“The person who prepared the original return used the Illinois address on the original return, and that should have triggered a question of, well, why am I not filing an Illinois tax return?” Bigane stated.

Reporter: “This lady was an accounting student. Even after hiring a tax expert, the work was still done incorrectly. Regarding our tax code, what does that say?

Bigane responded: “Well, first of all, the whole concept of residency is difficult.”

Bigane stated that since Veath’s residence was in Illinois, she could not just disregard the Illinois Department of Revenue, even if the money was generated there.

“The preparer incorrectly assumed that she only had to file an Indiana return and did not, in fact, prepare an Illinois return,” said Bigane.

According to Bigane, the following factors are used to determine residency for tax purposes: Where do you cast your ballot? What kind of driver’s license possess you?

“It’s a common occurrence,” he stated.

This also pertains to those who work in Indiana or Wisconsin yet reside in Illinois, as well as parents whose children attend out-of-state schools.

“You could also experience this,” Veath said.

Veath is saving money for a down payment on a property while continuing to reside at home.

“I finally felt like I had somebody on my side,” she stated.

Bigane promised to assist Veath in clearing out her 2020 tax situation, and after CBS 2 contacted H&R Block, they also got in contact with Veath. The tax giant made the decision to honor its promise, made the necessary corrections to her tax return, and reimbursed her for the interest and costs.

“At least something back in my pocket,” she replied.

With three dogs to feed and an impending wedding to Zachary, her fiancé, she said the extra cash was better in her pocket.

The tax preparer was unable to explain why they initially refused to assist Veath and needed the intervention of CBS 2. Veath hasn’t gotten the reimbursement money, and the updated return wasn’t finished even though H&R Block promised to assist her two weeks ago.

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