Elise Solé shine.yahoo.com Receiving a letter from a law firm rarely signals good news, but Tulsa, Oklahoma, resident Mike Knight's world was turned upsidedown when he opened a letter wrongly stating that he owed $111,000 in back taxes. "I was pretty shocked when I saw that amount," Knight tells Yahoo Shine. "I even thought it might be a scam because I’ve always paid my taxes." The letter, sent in June, was from law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, which represents the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC). The firm claimed that Knight owed the large amount of back taxes on three restaurants he owned. The problem? “I dissolved those businesses in 2005," says Knight. The other problem? Figuring out how to prove he was all paid up. Knight says that somewhere along the line he simply tossed the records that could prove he had paid the taxes back when his restaurants were still operating. His bank no longer had the records, either, because it purges information after seven years. “I called the OTC and they said they had changed computer systems and didn’t have access to files proving that I had paid,” he says. "Then, they sent me a second letter stating that I owed them an extra $1,000 in penalty fees, interest, sales tax, and attorney fees which totaled $112,000 more than what I originally owed,” according to Knight. The OTC also stated that if Knight paid $56,000 on the spot, he could avoid further penalty fees. “I was angry because this was their mistake, all because of a computer error,” he says. By a stroke of luck, his accountant was able to track down proof of payment in a storage unit that was on the verge of being destroyed. “But the storage unit only contained half of my records so the OTC tracked down the other half in their old system,” says Knight. In September, Knight received a letter from the OTC confirming that his debt was paid. The letter in part read, "The tax payer account has been corrected to reflect no outstanding liability. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this has caused." to read more click here: shine.yahoo.com
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