Monday, August 22, 2005

not enough to do at the IRS office

Something else I am taking more personally is the harassment the IRS has been doling out to me. I fill out my W-4’s claming nothing, so I either break even or get a refund, and I usually do and submit taxes early because if I’m getting a refund, I want to get it as soon as possible. I think I received my refund for this year in February or March. I spent the refund as soon as I got it; I think I bought glass with it. I continued with life, with nary a thought about taxes crossing my mind.

Sometime in June I received a letter from the IRS stating that I didn’t pay my taxes, and will be late unless I fill out the enclosed form and return it. At first, I thought I forgot to do my taxes and scrambled to locate the information to process them with. As I was searching for documents, I came across some proof that I did them and submitted them. A little more investigating, and I find bank statements documenting the direct deposit of the refund. I gathered and photocopied these materials, and mailed them to the IRS along with the completed form outlining my situation in detail. “That oughtta settle that,” I thought to myself as I handed the outgoing mail to Bob our letter carrier.

[Digression]

I applied to be a letter carrier, but I got my current job first. I didn’t pursue it because the process to apply to be a letter carrier is more involved and inconvenient, (unless you’re unemployed, then you got nothing better to do). I didn’t take the test on the scheduled date, and if you are hired, they only start you off temporary, which guarantees nothing.

--anyway--

I get home from work today, and notice a pile of mail on the table. I look through it; it’s a letter for the previous tenants (we’ve been in this house for 4 years), a couple of things to “current resident”, and one official looking envelope addressed to me. I open it, and it is a threat letter from the IRS that they are going to take legal action against me if I don’t call them or pay my taxes, and I had to fill out the enclosed form and return it (the same form I mailed back to them in June).

This really offended me, so I called the 1-800 number on the form to resolve the situation. After navigating my way through a hell of voice-automated answering menus, I get put on hold. I was expecting this, and started to read. The hold music was an uplifting mélange of classical favorites, occasionally interrupted by an evil sounding, icy voiced recording of a woman, who mocked, “Please don’t hang up. If you hang up, you will have to wait longer, because calls are answered in the order in which they are received. Someone will be right with you.”

After about fifteen minutes, I thought I could relieve the kink in my neck and multi-task better if the phone was on speakerphone. Trying to figure out what the trick to make it work was, I accidentally hung up.

Damn!

I redialed, this time with the speakerphone, correctly. After about 10 minutes and somewhere in the middle of the Romeo and Julie Love Theme by Tchaikovsky, I became impatient. I thought I could be more productive if I clipped the phone to my pocket, and did some errands in another room. I was holding the phone trying to manager this, and while I made a quick movement, the phone just shut off! This was completely unexplainable; I envisioned a call center with a variety of people all hanging out in one person’s cubicle, gossiping about the new guy in the office, or discussing what was watched on TV last night. The boss is probably not around; they are all smoking cigarettes, and laughing about how long they’ve kept myself, and hundreds of other innocent victims on hold for. The whole situation is getting to be very frustrating. Somewhere in a back office a maniacal young middle-management type is frantically printing out letters threatening legal action, to be sent to people like me who have received a refund months ago.

It’s all a conspiracy.

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