Several Great Falls Public School employees are getting letters from the IRS, but the district says it's all one big mistake.
Employees received a first round of letters in April. Now, Superintendent Tom Moore says close to 2,000 former and current public school employees have received letters.
He says there must be an error in the IRS system, and there are simple ways to respond.
"Once people settle down and they understand that this is an error, then they calm down, but the initial response when you get a letter from the IRS is 'Oh my Goodness!"
The letters indicate employees received retirement benefits from the school district back in 2017.
"The letters were definitely an error," said Moore.
He adds that the school district doesn't issue retirement benefits to employees, the state's teacher retirement system does. Kerri Dattilo, G.F.P.S. Human Resources Director, is sharing simple ways to report suspected unclaimed earnings.
"What we're able to do is write a letter to the IRS on their behalf, and then they receive later on, so usually a few weeks later, a notice from the IRS that the initial letter the IRS issued was an error and that they do not owe any money to the IRS," said Dattilo.
Moore added, "They check some boxes saying this is an error, I received no retirement benefits in the tax year 2017 and they send that back to the IRS with a copy of their tax statements from that year, then the IRS Sends them back a letter saying, you're right, this is an error, you owe nothing."
GF.P.S. is working with an IRS tax advocate to try and stop those letters.
"They are investigating, we are investigating on our side, how did this information get to the IRS, where is it coming from? People have asked about a hack or data breach, we have no evidence at all that that's what's happened," said Moore.