Sherry and Taxes
North Star Initiative staff and volunteers have been walking alongside “Sherry”, a local sex trafficking survivor. Because of her traumatic past, Sherry struggles to make life work and to navigate what you and I might consider normal duties of life. The North Star team has been a great source of hope and encouragement to her.
This spring Sherry needed help filing her 2015 taxes, and North Star found a local CPA who was delighted to help. When her tax return was completed, Sherry was overwhelmed to discover she owed $2900 in taxes…and she didn’t have the money. She thought her former employer was deducting taxes from her paycheck and never realized that her employer had hired her as an independent contractor! This confusion may have been partially because Sherry cannot read, but also because her years in sexual exploitation trained her to not question authority. It never occurred to her to question her employer about these things when she was hired.
Sherry came to the North Star office in March completely overwhelmed by her inability to pay her taxes, which she wanted to do! The North Star staff listened, offered hope, and prayed with her. We also took action and through some kind donors, North Star was able to help Sherry with a payment toward a significant portion of her taxes. She put the remaining balance on a reasonable payment plan. This solution eased her anxiety and gave her hope. She also confirmed that her new employer is withholding the right amount for her 2016 taxes! Sherry continues to have a lot of questions around the idea of trusting God and Jesus, but she knows the North Star team loves her and she welcomes God’s love through her relationship with North Star staff and volunteers.
Note: Sherry’s real name has been changed in this article to respect her privacy.