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Ingrid, 79, declared dead by Swedish tax authorities

Published: 09 Feb 2010 08:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2010 08:01 GMT+01:00

79-year-old Ingrid Ståhl of Malmö in southern Sweden found out to her surprise that she had been registered as dead after a mistake by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

Ingrid Stål and her husband have now been awarded 40,000 kronor ($5,400) in compensation for the error.

It was in March 2009 that an administrator at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) was tasked with registering a person as deceased. A mix up in identification numbers meant that Ingrid Ståhl was entered erroneously as having died, while her husband was labelled a widower.

The couple only found out about the mishap in April when supermarket chain Ica and state gambling monopoly Svenska Spel got in touch to ask for the return of Ingrid's charge cards.

Ingrid Ståhl was also obliged to accept receipt of letters addressed to her estate.

The 79-year-old sought the help of a friend to contact the Tax Agency and point out that she was in fact very much alive.

The mistake could eventually be corrected but the bureaucracy took time and proved a significant strain on the elderly couple.

"It has been a terrible time. It is still tough, but we try to just let it go," Ingrid Ståhl told news agency TT.

The Chancellor of Justice has now ruled that the Tax Agency is to pay out 25,000 kronor to Ingrid Ståhl and a further 15,000 kronor to her husband to compensate for the mistake.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:19 February 9, 2010 by Pont-y-garreg
I imagine there must be quite a few well-to-do people in Sweden who wish the tax authorities did think they were dead. :)
09:56 February 9, 2010 by Kevin Harris
25 000 kronor of tax payers' money to Ingrid Ståhl for not being dead, 15 000 kronor to Mr Ståhl for stress brought on by his wife not being dead, and 60 000 kronor to a muslim man who wouldn't shake hands.

I'm not dead and I promise not to shake hands. Can I have the money in cash please?
10:14 February 9, 2010 by peropaco
While all of this is coming out from my pocket. Ingrid ad a lucky streak as she was not legaly responsible for paying any debt she may have had. And for for the idiot refusing to shake the very same hand trying to help him should not be awarded a cent.
10:25 February 9, 2010 by Rick Methven
Skatteverket can declare me dead any time they want
13:00 February 9, 2010 by Mb 65
STRESS. What stress she is alive they didn't bury or cremate her. Stress for his wife not being dead, does that mean he wished she was.
14:22 February 9, 2010 by Kevin Harris
As I have not yet received my 100 000 kronor (it has been several hours now) I will try a new strategy. I would like to inform Skatteverket that I am in fact dead and intend to remain that way for the foreseeable future. I passed on peaceably after a short illness brought about by the well-publicised incident involving a cricket bat and a goat. I had a dignified non-denomantional funeral and was buried at sea.

Kevin Harris (deceased)
15:34 February 9, 2010 by Puffin
Well if they declare you dead - the state freezes you bank accounts and you ca no longer get healthcare etc
21:41 February 9, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Relax Puffin, I'm not really dead.
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