Vermonters receive incorrect 1099-Gs from state

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 1:45 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Check your 1099-G form. You might have gotten the wrong one. Hundreds of people did in Vermont.

This form is so people who filed for unemployment this year can file taxes.

Our Katharine Huntley reports on what happened.

On the Vermont Department of Labor Facebook page, there are hundreds of comments, most people complaining of the same thing-- receiving a 1099-G form that had their first name, but when they opened it up there was someone else’s Social Security number and tax information.

According to the Labor Department, around 55,000 of these went out, and there’s no telling right now how many are incorrect.

The Department of Labor is asking people not to open the envelope if your name is not on the front. If you already did open it and there’s incorrect information inside, they want you to put it in a safe place and wait for further instructions on how to send it back.

Mainly, the two programs impacted were lost wages assistance program and Vermont short-term supplemental benefits.

“We do know even if there’s one person impacted by this, it’s one too many. Just based on preliminary information it looks like when those documents were finalized and processed for printing and mailing is where the mixup occurred,” said Michael Harrington, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor did say that this mixup will not impact anyone’s benefits.

WCAX News received many calls and messages on Monday from people who are confused and truly worried about what will happen to their information.

“No, my Social Security number is out there somewhere, somebody else has it. I really hope it’s someone who like me who isn’t going to spread that information around. This Lewis person’s information is safe with me, I’m not going to do anything but what if somebody else gets mine who’s not as safe?” said Ashley Strobridge of Montpelier.

The Department of Labor says they have been in contact with the attorney general’s office and people will be allowed to enroll in identity protection with the state in case their information was exposed.

I spoke to a CPA who said if someone has a very common last name, their information would be harder to sell and use to steal their identities, so maybe some peace of mind for a few. However, the commissioner at the Department of Labor did express that this is a failure on their part and they will work to fix it.

So labor officials say if you get one on Monday, don’t open it. If you already did, they say they understand and they will provide updates and further information on the next steps to take. You can find that information on their website and through their social media posts.

We have been made aware of the issue regarding 1099-G tax forms. We are currently investigating the issue and will...

Posted by Vermont Department of Labor on Monday, February 1, 2021

They also said Claimant Assistance Center representatives are not able to help people with the problem at this time.

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