Californians get tax bill for money from Uber they never made

Even though they've never driven for Uber a day in their life, some Californians are still receiving 1099s from Uber, reporting earnings they've never seen.

Video Transcript

MICHAEL FINNEY: How odd is this? Uber also sent copies of those statements, known as 1099s, to the IRS. It's left a lot of people puzzled. William Bacon and his mother, Laura Pallo, didn't know what to make of this. Uber sent William this 1099 indicating he made just under $6,000 working for the company.

WILLIAM BACON: Because I never worked for them, why would I get the 1099 if I've never worked for the company?

MICHAEL FINNEY: His mom tried reaching out to Uber, but couldn't get a human being until she pretended to be an employee. Still, she didn't get very far.

LAURA PELLO: I can't speak with her supervisor, and I can't speak with anyone in accounting.

MICHAEL FINNEY: We first reported on this one year ago. Aaron Vurek received a 1099, which calculated his wages with Uber at $36,000.

AARON VUREK: How do I explain to the IRS that I wasn't working? How do I prove it? It's going to be hell.

MICHAEL FINNEY: The IRS tells us people should request a new 1099 from Uber correcting the error. But if that fails, file your return anyway.

RAPHAEL TULINO: If you want to file their return, and you can't get those forms, and you want to get your return in, then file and only report the income that reflects your situation.

MICHAEL FINNEY: It's unclear how widespread this problem is, but it's big enough for Uber to have a page on its website specifically for people to report the problem. 7 On Your Side has not received any complaints about other companies sending out erroneous 1099s. We reached out to Uber numerous times. It did not respond. William fears the erroneous 1099 he received could jeopardize his unemployment benefits.

WILLIAM BACON: If I'm getting unemployment and I get something that's random in the mail for someplace that I've never worked, I think that'll kind of look bad on that end.

MICHAEL FINNEY: So far, William says, he's found no evidence of people applying for credit in his name or any other fraudulent financial activity. The IRS says there's no need to file an ID theft affidavit unless your E-file return is rejected. Still, Dan, this leaves a lot of people hanging, wondering, will they get their tax return? Will they continue to get their unemployment payments? On and on. We'll try to keep track of this. We hope Uber will eventually respond to us.

- Yeah, let's hope so. And you'll stay on them, of course. It's a stressful time for a lot of people. All right, Thanks, Michael.