Friday, November 21, 2014

Misc Friday

Back in March of this year, I opened a letter from the IRS. Such a benign sentence. A more accurate statement would be "with my freaking heart in my throat, I ripped the envelope from the %%$$#IRS, hands shaking uncontrollably." This letter told me that I owed $1,830 for my 2012 federal income taxes. I immediately pulled out my tax file, followed each line on the letter with my own copy of my return, and yep, I owed money. Just not $1,830. After a bit of research with my investment broker, I called the IRS (your call is important to us, please do not hang up, or you may lose your place in the calling queue). I timed it. I was on hold waiting for a live human for 34 minutes.

The woman was extraordinarily nice, polite, and very professional. I explained I owed money, it was entirely my fault, but not that amount. She agreed. I gave her new information, she did the calculations, and told me it was reduced to $524. A great sigh escaped my body, and I said I would send a check immediately. "OH, NO!" she said. You must wait for a new letter with that amount indicated as being due. A small fine will be added. It will take 4 to 6 weeks. Oookkkkkaaaaayyyyyy.

To tell the truth, I forgot about it. I looked for the letter after a month, but when nothing arrived I completely put it out of my mind. There is a lot of stuff in my mind, and it's crowded in there. If something like a notification from the IRS is shoved in, space is limited, and the other, more important stuff will push the IRS brat out the ear. A second letter arrived in July. This time I was confident. This time I wasn't shaking. This time I was a complete and total idiot for believing my government had rectified the compounded error.

THIS letter said I owed $1,836 (note, $6 more), and that I was on my way to the tax court. There were many forms, and it boiled down to if I agreed that I was a horrible tax payer that had abused the system, I would sign the letter and return it to await my punishment. Uh, no. I didn't sign it. I did write a letter, once again making corrections on the IRS letter, enclosing all of it, and mailed it.

Time marched on. A third letter arrived in September. I now owed $529, which included my fine for not paying the correct taxes back in 2012. I about broke my arm writing a check for that amount, and getting it in the mail. Ahhhhh. Relief. It's over. Done. I can breath again.

Uh, no. A fourth letter arrived in October. This letter was very chatty. Hi there, taxpayer. We noted that you didn't pay the full amount of all of our previous correspondence, and that is just not right. Because you didn't reply to us within 90 days (WHAT????), we have no recourse but to bill you for the full balance. (WHAT?????) No amount was indicated. I called. On hold for 41 minutes. And again, the woman who answered the call was polite, professional, and as far as I'm concerned, a saint. She explained that that letter had been sent to tell me I had returned a previous form unsigned, and it involves the tax court, and so they had to let me know if anything was amiss, I was responsible. Ooookkkkkaaayyyyy. What do I owe? Nothing, Mrs. Crowe. Not a penny. I see your payment in full, you are so done with the 2012 taxes, and all is good. I am making a notation on your file that you called today, and that we spoke. You are free.

My birthday was this past Tuesday, November 18th. I received my fifth letter from the IRS. On my birthday. Happy Birthday to meeeee. This letter stated that I overpaid. A refund of $1.17 would arrive within 2 to 3 weeks. Yesterday the refund came in the mail. The check is for $1.18. One penny more. I am now waiting for the letter that tells me I owe them a penny.

Life is good. Screwed up, convoluted, but good just the same.

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