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Virginia Beach woman trying to prove she's alive after IRS - once again - mistakenly marks her as dead

Eight years after she was mistakenly flagged Sally Parsons as "deceased," she says she's once again dead in the eyes of the federal government, causing her problems.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach woman is pleading for her life... or at least to be recognized among the living. 

Eight years after federal agencies mistakenly marked her as dead, Sally Parsons is finding herself once again needing to prove that she's alive. 

Her saving grace is a 2013 apology letter from the Social Security Administration, which reads: "Our records incorrectly showed you as deceased. However, we have since found that you are alive."

In the last year, she tried to refinance her home but underwriters told her she was dead. She can't get rebates for the solar panels she installed on her house. She didn't receive any stimulus checks, and she paid her taxes but didn't receive any tax refund.

"This is really happening to me and uh... I'll be dead before they get me alive," Parsons said.

It started eight years ago when Parsons tried to use her debit card and it was denied.

“Went to the bank and they said, 'Oh, we have you as deceased,'" she said.

Parsons said a Social Security representative later told her a "keystroke error" -- a simple mistype of a number -- flagged her as dead. After working for a solution and receiving the apology letter, Parsons thought she resolved the problem. 

She hadn't.

“I had no problems until last year," she said, referencing the variety of issues that have emerged recently. "I am angry about this. This shouldn’t still be going on. Honest to God, I'm old enough to be dead but I'm not, folks!"

Parsons paid her taxes this year, but the IRS denied her tax refund, saying the primary taxpayer was deceased prior to the year shown on the tax form.

"Even the little gal that did the tax preparation called me a fraud," she said.

In March, she started "fighting for her life" once again. She sent in her driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, social security information, and other records.

Three months later in July, the IRS responded, saying it needed 60 days to make an action on her account.

Two weeks ago, the IRS sent another letter, saying it’s forwarding Parsons’ claim to the Taxpayer Advocate Customer Service Center to process and respond within another 60 days.

"The IRS is probably overburdened, and I think this would’ve been resolved a lot sooner had it not been for the virus," Parsons said.

However, as strange as it seems, Parsons isn’t the only "dead person walking" in the eyes of the IRS.

Earlier this year, our sister station WTHR in Indianapolis talked with multiple people who have begged the IRS to remove them from the “master death file” for years.

The IRS told 13News Now it can’t comment on the status of any taxpayer, although 13News Now shared Parsons' information with the agency. It’s not clear how many people are mistakenly marked as dead each year.

Meanwhile, Sally Parsons just keeps copying her personal records, waiting for a call.

“It could be a lot worse, I could really be dead," she noted.

If you’re struggling with a similar issue, we want to hear from you. Contact Evan Watson and the Investigates team at Investigate@13newsnow.com.