Neighbors are using my address - how to fix / report it?
February 3, 2014 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Main details inside.. but the title pretty much says it. IRS and potential repo men involved.

OK, so I've searched the IRS website fairly extensively, but am coming up with nothing.

I'm getting mail to my house, addressed for my neighbor of 15+ years, from the IRS. First time was about a year ago, and once or twice over the year. I didn't think anything of it - figured a computer input error - one house number off, they're a nice older couple, retired, lots of kids - they have some of their own and had adopted a bunch. So generally, we thought decent folk.

So this morning, a tow truck showed up and seems they came to my address first before figuring out my car didn't match, and going to the neighbors and carting it away. So now, I have to think this address mismatch wasn't much of a mistake as possibly intentional.

So, I want to contact the IRS and get them to fix the name/address association in their systems before anything gets pinned to my address.

I don't think its technically identity theft, but, hey - I want the IRS to fix their address, especially if these folks are having money issues.
posted by rich to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Just send the letter back to the IRS, with the correct address on it.

I wouldn't go out of my way to call or hassle with it. Or just walk the letter to your neighbors.

Your neighbors aren't all that bright if they're only one number off. It didn't really stop the repo man, did it?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:00 AM on February 3, 2014 [5 favorites]

I regularly receive mail from the IRS -- certified, requiring signature -- for a member of my family that doesn't share my last name and has never lived at my address. In fact, when I moved a couple years ago, it followed me.

I've talked to my post office, wifey has talked to the postman, and there's really no way to stop it. If the IRS mails a letter with your address, the post office will deliver it to you. We've returned every non-signature thing to the IRS, definitely refusing to sign for certified things, and when the postman puts a 'we tried to deliver certified mail' in our mailbox when we're not home I write in black sharpie all over "THIS PERSON DOESN'T LIVE HERE" and drop it off at the post office. The IRS has still done nothing about it. So, my personal experience is: get used to it.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:17 AM on February 3, 2014

Agree with Ruthless Bunny.

As to the motivation to use it one number off, I can think of many reasons both good and bad, but identity theft is not one of them. It could just be one spouse hiding financial troubles from the other. It could be an issue with the children and not wanting them knowing.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:19 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

10 + years ago I filled out a form on my father's behalf, and I'm still getting mail with his name on it, as well as repeated invitations to join AARP. These types of errors happen all the time, and they take forever to clear out of databases. I wouldn't read any bad intentions into it at all, frankly. Most likely some data entry elf simply entered in some numbers wrong.

These folks may have fallen on hard times, or they may have just had car trouble. Either way, I think you're borrowing trouble, here. And I certainly wouldn't completely reevaluate my opinion of your neighbors based on this one incident. Unless I am hugely missing something, I don't see anything in your post that would deserve your harsh opinion of them.
posted by backwards compatible at 9:19 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

One other thing to consider: is your mail delivered to a mailbox out by the street, or is it deposited through a mailslot in your door? My point being, can the neighbors themselves check your mail ( and maybe pull out anything 'misaddressed' to your house), or is your mail secured from other people?
posted by easily confused at 10:25 AM on February 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

We are experiencing this with a prior tenant of our house. When I called and told the relevant agency that the person no longer lived at this address, she said that they were legally required to deliver to the last known address, and that this happens all the time. I would contact the IRS and make sure that they know but I would also get used to this continuing.
posted by emkelley at 1:17 PM on February 3, 2014

What about asking the USPS about their policy?
posted by annsunny at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2014

It's also possible to ask the post office to only deliver mail with certain names (especially last names) to your home. Things will be returned without hassling you with them. I'm not sure if it's the mail carrier or somewhere in the post office that handles this; the two addresses I've had to request it for, both times I'm done it directly at the post office.

It's cut our mail by about 80% at this house; yes, it was that ridiculous.
posted by stormyteal at 4:46 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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