Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I have a headache . . .

. . . and so do you. It's called IRS.

I do have a real headache, though, my second this week.

The first developed while spending three hours having someone to the damned income tax paperwork for 2005.

I had all the "stuff" together. I'd HAD all the "stuff" together but as I do every year, I kept putting it off because I HATE IT.

I went in a few weeks earlier than I normally do after the call I'd received earlier saying that Saturday would be Customer Appreciation Day. If I went in on Saturday, I'd get a 50 percent discount on their fees. So, in I went.

After all these years I'm known to them. Although the bulk of Hubby's and my return is routine and I always have all the "stuff" with me, the more experienced, far more senior preparers are the ones I see every year because something ALWAYS blows up.

(I feel so speshul.)

This year, they even elevated a required entry on one line to a "Problem 25."

The entire office came to a standstill. The faint-of-heart preparers screamed in terror ("It's a Problem 25!") and hid under the desks. The well-seasoned ones began grabbing books and manuals, discussing — back and forth, forth and back — the difference between what the IRS wrote in that section, and what they really meant based on other, conflicting sectionS of the friggin' tax code.

I went outside and had a couple slices of pepperoni pizza and a Diet Coke. (It was Customer Appreciation Day after all!) When I came back in the neophytes, who'd come out from beneath desks, were once again working on the taxes of the people they'd abandoned, and the older staff was giving each other high-fives because once again they'd figured out (I guess) what the IRS REALLY meant.

Unfortunately, since the result was that the figure now had to be entered on a different line, I couldn't file the return electronically. I had to mail it.

Oh, and send it registered delivery, return receipt requested, to prove I'd submitted the return because of the steadily increasing number of returns IRS claims it never received.

IRS doesn't bother to send out the annual packet of instructions and forms anymore. You know, the one with the envelope and the handy-dandy label with its address on it "for your convenience." And since I haven't had a car (Da Kid borrowed it.) today was the first chance had to go to the post office.

I looked at all the paperwork I'd brought home and on the return, itself, for an address.

Nope.

There was, however, a 1-800 number. So, I called.

For blab-de-blab-de-blab, press 1 . . .

Then came the Spanish.

I don't know what the hell section I need to speak to. I just want the address to mail this stinkin' return, but I guessed it was 1 so that's what I pushed.

By the time I'd finally drilled three levels further down in the menu and one of the selections was if I needed an address, I was starting to feel like my head was again being squeezed by a vice.

If you are filing Form 1040, press 1. If you are filing Form 1040A, Form 123467, or Form 666, press 2. If you are filing Form . . .

I don't know what number to PUNCH press because I'm no longer sure exactly what the hell form is in the envelope I'D SEALED!

I put the phone down, ripped open the envelope, shuffled through the sheets and picked up the telephone.

Except not being able to see straight because the headache was REALLY starting to gear up, I unfortunately hit the wrong button, terminated the call and had to start in all over again.

Eventually . . .

If you are filing Form 1040, press 1.

<PUNCH> ONE.

If you are filing Form 1040 with Form 34583, press 1. If you are filing FORM 1040 with Form 7734, press 2. If you are filing . . .

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5 Comments:

Blogger ABFreedom said...

Heh ... up here, if I know I owe them money, I don't fill out anything. I just throw it all in an envelope, with the blank form, and put in a note that says I can't figure it out ... Every year they fall for it, and most times they find things that work in my favor and I get money back.... lol

Don't know if your system does the same thing .. ;-)

8:45 PM  
Blogger Boss Melnitz said...

Amen, sister! Fair Tax is long overdue, and fortunately seems to be picking up steam.

10:27 AM  
Blogger doyle said...

AB: ... I can't figure it out.

Imagine not having to, AB, or not having ANY Federal taxes taken out of your pay check. Let's get REALLY crazy and imagine no Federal taxes on any income (personal or corporate), because the government's being funded through a completely different means that's far more equitable.

It's called the Fair Tax.

Hie thee over to the link I left, AB. You will love it.

The idea's been around for a long time but as David said, it's only now that the possibility is really starting to take hold.

3:10 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

Yes, were looking at that as well. We just have another name for it ... "consumption tax". You can bet the IRS and CCRA up here are going to fight it like hell.

7:25 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

Not so much IRS, itself, but the (already anti-Dubya) unions representing its employees. Then there are the lobbyists paid by special interests to influence legislators to pass tax breaks for them.

I imagine you'll be hearing noise from Canada's version of the same, if you aren't already.

6:34 PM  

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