Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dreaded mail

We don't get too much mail these days.  It seems like the only thing we get consistently are magazines (mostly ones we haven't subscribed to), catalogs, credit card offers, things addressed to "Resident", fliers, and the occasional piece for the people that used to live here and moved out over five years ago.

Every so often we get a card or letter from someone we know, but most of that comes via email any more.

There is one thing we get and can count on getting each and every year - something from the IRS.

Wouldn't this be nice?
It is the one piece of mail I will actually open while standing at the mailbox.  Any refunds we get are done via direct deposit, so this is almost never a good thing. 

My heart rate increases.  I start to sweat and shake a little bit.

What have I done to draw the attention of the IRS? 

Every tax return I have filled out in the last nine years has prompted them to come after me. 

Yes, you read that right.  For the last nine years I have gotten a letter from the IRS stating that I owe them thousands of dollars and I better send in a check because the juice (interest, for those of you not familiar with Rounders or gambling) is running.

This is to signify the juice running.  OJ in this case, not interest.
Every year I then dig up my old return, compare what they have to what I have, and prepare a response. 

For six of those nine years the response has been exactly the same:

To Whom it May Concern,

You've now screwed this up for the last X number of years. Please see the attached documentation (printed directly from the IRS web site and/or copied from the tax code) and let me know, with an apology, that you agree to your screw up. Again.

Regards, Brad and Julia

PS - My wife's name is still Julia, not Julis. Can you change that one more time?

Ok, so I don't phrase it exactly like that, but I would love to.  If I didn't think they would tear my future returns apart in retaliation I might be more inclined to be a smart ass.

I got the fourth letter from them this year on Monday.  This is not exactly what they said, but it's close.

Dear Brad and Julia,

My bad.  We'll send you some money back since you did overpay us as you originally indicated. 

Talk to you next year,

PS - We got Julia's name right, but we'll screw it up next year, intentionally.  This isn't over.
In the three cases that were not like the others only once did I agree with them and cut a check.  For the record, I am now 8-1 all time against the IRS, but that one loss is not entirely true as I disagreed with a few points and they backed off of those.  Maybe I'm 8-0-1, calling that time a tie.

My record, unfortunately, proves nothing.  The only thing it means for certain is that the IRS is due for a big win.

Therefore, I humbly submit my resignation from doing my own taxes and acknowledge that it's time to hire a CPA.

Julis agrees.

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