DUDLEY (CBS) — Out-of-work substitute teacher Bridgette Ebbeling, of Dudley, is now spending her days teaching her own kids at home. Her husband lost his second job as a cook at a local restaurant.

“It’s been a difficult transition going from three incomes to one,” she said.

With three daughters and two foster kids, Ebbeling was thankful she had a sizable federal tax refund on the way. That was until she got a call from the IRS claiming there was a problem with some of the W2 forms on her return. She said the IRS told her that both her husband’s company and a daycare center she worked at last year did not report the proper wages on the form.

“Both my husband’s business and the company I was working for did not submit wages, which seems a little weird to me,” she said.

Shrewsbury CPA David McLaren told us this is not an isolated incident. “We’ve been seeing more and more cases where people have not been able to get their refund and the IRS is holding it up claiming the W2 has some sort of issue,” he said.

McLaren said he’s seen this with a teenager with a couple of part time jobs, all the way up to a well paid employee of a pharmaceutical company. “We don’t know if this is a glitch in the system or if something else is going on,” he said.

Making matters worse, finding help from the IRS is tricky because all of the taxpayer phone lines are closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ebbeling said she eventually got a call from the IRS saying she might get her refund sometime in July. In the meantime, she’s putting some bills aside so there is enough money to take care of her family.

“It’s really frustrating. There have been a lot of tearful nights, a lot of nights up worrying about how I am going to pay this bill this month,” she said.

WBZ-TV left four different messages with the IRS over two days. They have not responded to our calls.


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