Who works for who?
December 9, 2013
Yesterday, I spent an hour and a half on-hold trying to call the Internal Revenue Service. I was fooled by the letter they had sent me that said if I had any questions all I had to do was call their phone number. This all started last spring when I got a letter from the IRS that asked a question about my tax return. My accountant provided the necessary information and we sent it back. Then I started getting these strange letters from the IRS that said there wasn't anything I needed to do but further correspondence could be expected from them. I imagined the next letter might inform me that it was time to make a run for the Canadian border.
Finally, I got a letter that said I would receive a tax refund of $4,600 in four to six weeks. That was back in July. I don't like dealing with any agency of the federal government, especially one that can shorten their name to three letters like the BLM, the EPA or the KGB. But as scary as the IRS is, I thought it might be worth calling them up and asking about my refund. Evidently most people that call owe money to the IRS because nearly all the recorded choices are bad. One voice said to press 2 to arrange sending your right arm, press 3 for where to hand over your first born male child, followed by several others that sounded very unpleasant. There isn't an extension for checking on your well-deserved refund.
I waded through the choices and finally found a live human. I mistakenly thought since I had a letter from the IRS saying that I was to receive a refund; that we only had to find out what happened to my check. The IRS woman wanted to go back over everything. She asked me why I had over-paid in the first place. Admitting that I was afraid of the IRS was my first thought. I tried to explain that I had a little windfall the year before and that had thrown things off. She wasn't satisfied with my answers. I appealed for a little sympathy by pointing out that the government had just ruined my health insurance and now it was trying to stiff me for my tax refund. Now I am more likely to get audited than get my refund. F