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September 6th, 2012:

How About An Email?

So I’ve been silently fighting with the IRS since April. We (me and our accountant) made a mistake on our business taxes when we filed them. Nothing huge, but around the first of May, I got a love letter from the IRS saying I messed up and that I owed them something like $1800 additional. I immediately called my awesome wonderful accountant and said what? Help! What is this? Why? Do I really need to pay this?

He said no, the IRS messed up.

So I told the IRS I own’t pay, you messed up.

They didn’t like that.

Then accountant and I looked closer and we did indeed mess up. We double-counted something or other blah blah blah. So he immediately sent an ammended return.

All was well.

Until I got another love letter.

Then we figured out our other mistake, fixed it, and sent another ammended return.

All was well, really.

Then I got a love letter that said I owed something like $17.49 due to the interest they lost when I payed late.

So I sent them a check, just to get it over with.

A couple days later, I got a love letter saying they owed ME something like $16.49 due to interest I earned from an overpayment.

The IRS was fighting with itself.

The letters kept coming and going and I kept paying and getting refund checks (well, not really – they haven’t come yet, but they should in 8-12 weeks, even though my payments are expected to arrive to them in 8-10 days or I face late fees.).

Then last week, I got a love letter in the mail. It was 4 pages long, front and back. It explained that I owed 17 cents. YES, 17 cents. They even included an envelope with a fancy little window and return address and a payment stub on a half printed sheet of paper that I could cut off to mail with my 17 cents.

THEN, another page said “Payment Due – NONE” because if you owe less than $1, you don’t have to pay it.

Here’s what I think . . . instead of wasting the paper, the ink, and the very cool return address envelope that I don’t need and paying someone to stuff said envelope, how about you just not send me anything? It’s 17 cents. I’d have to use pennies, which the government thinks are useless anyway. Nobody has to pay or receive anything.

Our tax dollars at work.

THEN, a couple days later, I get a letter in the mail. The same 4-page letter as above, but this time saying I overpaid and they owe me $18.14. The check should arrive in 8-12 weeks. In GIANT letters on the very first page are the words REFUND AMOUNT OWED. Yet, along with the 4 pages of double-sided paper printed, they also sent a fancy little window envelope and a half sheet printed piece of paper that is my payment stub. A payment stub for a REFUND I’m receiveing.

REALLY? How about you send me an email that says I’ve got a refund coming and save the paper, the ink, and the stuffer. And, how about if someone is receiving a refund, you don’t send them a payment stub and a return envelope.

Ahhhhhhh – all that paperwork, labor, and supplies wasted when considering that I owed them $17.49 and they owed me $18.14, we were pretty much even anyway.

Our tax dollars at work.