BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (KMSP) - The mistake cost him thousands of dollars in back tax returns, but thanks to a Fox 9 report and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one Minnesota father of three can breathe a sigh of relief.
According to the IRS, Adam Ronning has been dead most of his life, but Ronning didn’t start running into trouble with it until about 2009.
Now, almost a decade later, Ronning is 35 and hopeful this is the end of his tax problems.
When Klobuchar saw Ronning Sunday, she joked about how alive he looked.
“I appreciate everything you’ve done,” Ronning said to the Senator.
Over the last 15 months they’ve placed call after call all to reverse the IRS’ false declaration that this tax-paying father of three is dead. It was a problem they were told was solved last year.
“We kept making the case because they kept having bureaucratic snafus,’ Klobuchar said.
She added, “It appears they made some changes at the IRS, according to the commissioner and then he got reclassified once again as dead.”
Klobuchar ended up having to call the IRS Commissioner herself.
“I assumed they owed me anywhere between $20 and $27,000,” Ronning said. “I believe when everything was said and done I received about $15,000 back.”
Ronning’s mother, Linda Picard Millette, said she is relieved that her son appears to be legally alive again. She first learned about the gaffe in 1987 when her son was only five.
“I got married and moved,” she said. “The next thing I knew, he’d been declared dead.”
Back in 2011, an audit reportedly revealed 1,000 people a month are erroneously marked dead by the SSA. The office has since claimed that number is now closer to 500 people a month, which is still 6,000 citizens every year.
“He couldn’t get a car loan, he couldn’t get an account at the bank,” said Picard Millette.
Getting Ronning his hard earned cash back actually started with a story Fox 9 reported last April.
“It actually helped get it done because I ended up emailing the IRS Commissioner the story with the link to show them how stupid it was, that this had happened,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar has since helped “revive” at least five other Minnesotans who were also in Ronning’s shoes.
“We’ll continue to fix these things as they happen but the point is they should never happen to begin with,” she added.
“Hopefully, I won’t have to deal with it next year and I know who to call if I do,” said Ronning.
There’s only one thing that Ronning says he needs now, which is something called a certificate of resurrection. The certificate is one his mother says she was promised years ago, but never got.
It’s documentation that could save him more grief as he moves forward.