COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Lyn Herron said her mom, Jeane, started making jewelry in the early 2000s, but hardly made any money from the venture.

“My mom never even sold $1,000 in jewelry in her entire time doing this in over 10 years,” said Herron. Still, Herron said, they applied for and received a vendor’s license.

“Because we thought it would be the responsible thing to do,” said Herron. “And we would pay the sales tax.”

But after less than two years, and right before the pandemic, Herron canceled the license because of the lack of income. Shortly after, Jeane started receiving a series of “bills” from the Ohio Department of Taxation.

“Then she started getting more and more bills, and it ended up we had, the final one that we got was like $279,000 in sales tax,” said Herron. “I honestly thought it was a scam.”

Confused about how her mother could possibly owe that much money, Herron called the Department of Taxation. She was told the case had been sent to special counsel, and she needed a specific account number from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“So, I called the Attorney General’s Office, and I left several messages, and I also used the “Contact Us” feature on the webpage, and emailed,” said Herron. But Herron said she never heard back. “And that’s when I contacted you.”

Better Call 4 reached out to the Department of Taxation. That same day, I was told someone would look into the case. Soon after, Herron got a call from the Department of Taxation.

“And I was told that they had sent a letter through to the Clerk of Courts Office, saying that our debt was going to be wiped clean,” said Herron.

But why was Herron’s mother “billed” nearly that much money in the first place?

“There was a glitch, I was told,” said Herron. “Where we were supposed to be paying quarterly… one quarter in December, they switched it to paying monthly.”

And Herron said she was told that because Jeane didn’t report her sales tax, even though she didn’t sell anything that quarter, the department made an assessment.

“And nobody was willing to help us,” Herron said. “Until you did.”

Better Call 4 tried to get clarification about the glitch from the Ohio Department of Taxation but was told the department could not discuss a specific case.

Thankfully, Jeane’s debt has been cleared, and she has not received a letter since.