A homeless man finally got the taxman off his back after the Internal Revenue Service abandoned its efforts to recover $5,981,104.02 from him, admitting it made a mistake.
The Statesman Journal reports the federal agency notified 30-year-old John Ramer that his tax bill was an error and he owed nothing.
“It was just the luck of the draw that it happened to me,” an upbeat Ramer told the paper.
Ramer became known as the “six-million-dollar man” by his buddies at the Union Gospel Mission in Salem, Ore., where he is required to live as part of his parole for stealing a car in 1998.
According to the Journal, the gross error has its origins in Ramer’s brief stint behind the snack counter at a bowling alley 10 years ago. Malfunctioning magnetic tape reported earnings of $35 to the IRS as more than $2 million.
To owe that amount, Ramer should have pulled in $15 million instead of the $7 an hour he earned.
Ramer has a collection of notices from the IRS demanding payment for the 1994 taxes that, with interest and penalties, swelled to the near-$6-million figure.
The IRS was slow to admit its mistake. During a visit to a local IRS office, Ramer was taken aside and asked whether he had done any day trading, reports The News-Messenger.
“I feel like holding up a sign: ‘Will work for new portfolio,'” Ramer joked.
The IRS refused comment on the case.
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