Some 400,000 Americans may see their tax refund checks grabbed by the government after Congress quietly lifted the 10-year statute of limitations in 2011 on money owed to Uncle Sam.

Now, debts going back decades are considered fair game for the IRS, and the government is coming after the children and grandchildren of the original debtors for the repayment. 

In some cases, debts of parents from the early 1960s and 70s are being collected from children. 

In many cases, the IRS doesn't even possess the original records of the debts. 


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On "The Kelly File," former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams called it a "classic abuse" by Washington, D.C. of regular Americans who don't know how to defend themselves. 

Adams pointed out that no one actually even knows who is responsible for the 10-year statute's repeal. Congress claims it's the fault of the Obama administration, and the White House claims it's the work of Congress.

Megyn Kelly cited a case reported by the Washington Post of a woman named Mary Grice whose father died when she was 4 years old in 1977, leaving her mother with five children. Thirty-seven years later, the Social Security administration is claiming that it overpaid someone in her family, but it isn't sure whom, and is going after Ms. Grice for the alleged debt. Grice is suing. 

When Megyn Kelly asked Adams what the chances are of the government dropping the debt against Grice, Adams answered, "Zero."

"This is an administration that loves to suspend laws when they're inconvenient and not enforce certain laws," Adams said. "Let's see if they do it here."