Some Arizonans receiving incorrect tax forms due to unemployment fraud

The Arizona Dept. of Economic Security has revealed that more than 1,500 Arizonans have claimed that they have received an incorrect tax form due to tax fraud.

As expected, hundreds of thousands of fraudulent unemployment claims in 2020 would eventually impact many legitimate taxpayers.

All Arizona resident Aaron Bertoni wants is to file his taxes - but he can’t until the Department of Economic Security sends him his 1099-G.

"A lot of goods and services that the state provides and other things I can get as a single father are on hold," said Bertoni. "I don’t have the taxes to basically to show my proof of income."

That form has caused many headaches for Arizonans. It's what unemployment recipients hand to the IRS, but due to fraud, many who never collected jobless benefits have received a form.

MORE: New bill would allow thousands more Arizonans to claim unemployment benefits

Christine Lahaie, who has been retired for years, received a 1099-G because her identity was stolen.

"I’m sure there are a lot of people that got that letter in the mail and went, what the heck?" Lahaie said.

MORE: Arizonans learning of unemployment fraud in their names after receiving tax forms

A public records request revealed that just through Feb. 8, more than 1,600 people reported receiving a 1099-G because of a fraudulent unemployment account opened in their name.

"I’m outraged," said Phoenix resident Michael Martinez. "I want to see it fixed, and I don’t even know who to contact."

More than 900 people who legitimately collected unemployment have contacted DES, claiming the amount the state agency put on the form was inaccurate.

"For mine, it was like a $450 difference, for some it be a little bit more, it might be a little bit less," Martinez said. 

In a statement, DES says they will continue to "monitor rep orts from those who believe the benefit amounts listed on the 1099-G forms are incorrect or from individuals who did not apply nor receive unemployment benefits."

They say a corrected form will be issued in 7 to 14 days once they’re contacted.

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