Tax issues can follow an individual for a long time if they choose not to address it by coming to an agreement with the IRS on how they will pay this debt. However, what if an individual claims to have paid the tax debt but still gets a bill years later? A California man has claimed that he paid his taxes that the state says he still owes, though it is unclear how the man will be able to prove his position.

The tax bill arose from 17 years ago when the man is alleged to have failed to pay a tax bill. Currently, the amount owe is over $6,000. A substantial amount of this debt is the accumulation of interest and penalties tacked on to the taxes owed over the course of the 17 years that tax officials have claimed that the debt has been outstanding.

The man claimed that he paid the taxes when they originally arose. He is unable to provide any proof for this payment as his bank does not have records that go back that far. The accountant, who the man alleged made the payment on his behalf, has passed away, which has put the man in an even more difficult situation if he is to prove that payment was in fact made.

California has offered the man a $25 per month repayment plan for his tax debt. It is unclear whether the man intends to accept the offer or whether he will continue to contest the amount owed. Whatever the case may be, this situation provides a prime example of the importance of addressing tax issues from the onset of the debt. The longer someone waits, the more complicated it may get for them to either satisfy this debt or properly contest it if the IRS made a mistake.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Bill Elkins, California Man, Slammed With 17-Year-Old Tax Bill,” Allie Compton, Nov. 1, 2012