IRS Goof Puts SoFla Teacher in Combat Zone

Tax papers claim woman has been serving in military

A South Florida teacher is trying to get to the bottom of an IRS blunder that accidentally put her right in the middle of the war on terror.

Anna Ashley loves America, got her education degree from Miami-Dade College and became a U.S. citizen years ago. She spends her days in the classroom, not on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan.

“I don't know why they would think I would be in the military, in a combat zone," she said. "I’m puzzled."

Somehow, the Internal Revenue Service apparently thinks Ashley is in the Army Rangers or on foot patrol with a Marine platoon in a dangerous part of the world thousands of miles away.

NBC Miami obtained a letter written to Ashley with her correct address and social security number on it.

It tells her that she entered a combat zone in March of 2007 and the IRS will remove her tax deferment if they don't get more information from her until the end of June.

From the letter, it appears she got tax breaks the last three years, something she's trying to get to the bottom of and wants to correct if she did.

"I thought it was bizarre, coming out of left field," she said. "I couldn't understand why I would be getting a letter regarding that."

Experts at accounting firm Morrison Brown were asked how it could happen that the IRS is possibly giving a tax deferral to a woman serving her community but not in the military.

“I think they need more information to confirm that she's still in the combat zone," said Rosamaria Bravo from Morrison Brown.

The IRS wouldn't say how many of the letters have gone out or how many taxpayers it estimates may be benefiting from a tax break reserved for those actually under fire.

The IRS wouldn't comment on Ashley's case, other than to say that only taxpayers who qualify for a benefit should get it.

Ashley said she called to try to fix it but only got an automated machine.

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