When I was younger (many years ago, had just turned 18 and moved out of my parents), I briefly worked in a company part-time while attending college. The college gave me a tuition scholarship and a tax document (form 1098 something, don't remember exactly which one) , which I put on my tax returns, because I was young and clueless and thought "hey they gave this to me to put it on my tax returns, and not including info is bad, right?" In truth, I should not have done so because my scholarship was not at all taxable (it was a full tuition scholarship which did not cover anything except tuition). The other dumb thing I did was thinking I could file my tax return myself and save money in the process.
I filed the taxes thinking everything was OK, and moved to a different address. Because I included my (non-taxable) scholarship on my return, the IRS felt I owed them taxes on it, and they sent mail to that previous address requesting payment. Alas, I had already moved out of that apartment and thus did not receive these letters from the IRS, nor did I file a change of address (don't forget, I was 19 and clueless).
I did not realize there was something awry with that tax return until much later, when I received calls from a debt collection agency, which is due clearly to this erroneously filed tax return.
I know that amended tax returns are a thing, but in this case, since the situation has already progressed to debt collection, what are my options? Is there still hope to "amend" this situation as I legally never owed taxes in the first place? Do I need a lawyer? What's the cheapest option? I'm not rich, certainly not enough to pay scholarship taxes that I never owed. Any suggestion is appreciated!