Occupational nursing license, retirement create tax nightmare for Bodfish couple

BODFISH, Calif. - A retired Bodfish couple is wondering why they owe the state money in taxes for a year that they were not employed.

According to Priscilla and Bob Malis they have been retired since 2006, but it was not until this year that Priscilla decided to go back to work as a Licensed Vocational Nurse.

"I wanted pay for things in my bucket list," Priscilla said. "We just bought a new car and new computer."

The retired couple said when they went to file their taxes for 2013 they were supposed to gain a refund for over $500.

But to their surprise, instead of receiving their refund in the mail they received a letter saying their money would be used to pay off taxes they owed from 2008.

"We called and they said we owed money in 2008 because they assumed she [Priscilla] was working," Bob Malis said. “How can they assume?”

In 2008, Priscilla had changed her LVN license from active to inactive, but had not worked that year and was receiving retirement pension.

According to the Tax Franchise Board of California every year the Board reaches out to people who have a filing requirement but do not file their taxes. This includes people with occupational licenses.

According to the Malis’ they never received a notice until after they had filed their taxes.

“We are good tax-paying citizens, I didn’t get why this was happening to us,” Bob Malis said.

John Barrett with the Franchise Tax Board of California said while they try to reach most people sometimes an address can be wrong in the system and they will not get a notice.

Priscilla and Bob had just a couple days to send in their proof that they were receiving retirement pension in 2008 and are now waiting for their refund check to come in the mail in the next 7 to 9 weeks.

“I don’t get it, it was their mistake but now we’re left waiting,” Priscilla Malis said. “It’s very stressful.”

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