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Getting A Psy-Kick Out Of Psyching Out Your Coworkers

, , , , , , | Working | September 20, 2021

I’m a paid tax preparer. I have a habit of making educated guesses about clients and, when I’m correct, saying that I’m mildly psychic.

One of my coworkers is very “anti-phooey,” to use his own words. He often gets very upset with me and tries to lecture me on how I cannot possibly be psychic, how it’s all fake, and how I should just admit it and stop pretending.

He’s right that it’s fake, but… frankly, it entertains the clients, it’s none of his business, and some of the choice words he uses in his hours-long lectures upset me.

I have a wide web of contacts, so I arrange for one of my coworkers to come to me as a fake client. Since she’s in on the joke, I have a great deal of fun with her, pretending to read her palm and explaining my “charms” to her — I wear some jewelry just for that day. I can see my angry coworker seething in the next cubicle over as I work my charms on a knowing victim.

Finally, I peak by “psychically intuiting” the amount of her W2 and entering it into the computer without opening her letter.

This triggers my angry coworker, and he barges into my cubicle.

Coworker: “There is no way. There is no way you can psychically gather someone’s W2 information. None. This is all wrong. You’re going to have to delete it and redo it. Do you want to come work with someone who isn’t a charlatan, ma’am?”

Me: “But wait! Before you call me a charlatan, check the numbers!”

Of course, they are spot on; we downloaded her W2 from the company website, and I entered it that way while pretending to be psychic.

My angry coworker splutters, quite flummoxed.

Coworker: “What?! How?!”

Me: “Magic.”

It was totally worth the resulting trip to human resources after my angry coworker’s frustrated bellowing attracted the attention of the entire office. All three of us got written up.

Will Call You In The Future

, , , , , | Right | June 8, 2021

On the IRS website, you can track the status of your tax return. At our office, we often will do so for clients who call in.

It is the last day of tax season. If the call is not about setting up an appointment or providing details about a return in progress, the policy is to tell them we can’t help them. A woman calls in.

Caller: “I need you to help me look up my refund and when it will arrive.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t do this on the last day, but I’ll be more than happy to do so tomorrow.”

Caller: “I already paid you for my taxes, and it’s my money, so you d*** well better look it up for me!”

Me: “I’m afraid we cannot, and we do not have the tools or resources.”

Caller: “Manager.”

Me: “The manager is busy with someone else but I can put you on hold and they will get to you.”

She hangs up before the manager can get to that line forty-five minutes later — we are VERY busy — and calls back an hour after that. I recognize her voice and repeat that we can’t help her get her refund status.

Caller: “How can you even know what I want if I ain’t even told you my name yet?”

Me: “Because I’m psychic.”

Caller: “Well, Mr. Psychic Man, I want you doing my taxes next year.”

Me: “Very well. What’s your name, so I can make sure you get an appointment with me?”

Caller: “You’re the psychic. Figure it out.” *Click*

I laughed about that for a good while after.

Taxing Taxing, Part 10

, , , | Working | June 4, 2021

My wife gets a letter from the UK tax office in January telling her she has overpaid and she is to get a refund of about £800. This is not a life-changing sum but not a trivial amount of money for us, so she is well pleased with this news. They tell her it will arrive in about two weeks.

A month later, she realises she still has not received this cheque. She rings the tax office up, and after about an hour on the telephone, she finally gets through to them.

Operative #1: “We delivered the cheque a month ago and made it payable to [Accountant Firm] you authorised it to go to. That’s where we posted it.”

Wife: “Excuse me? I made no such authorisation.”

Operative #1: “We have the form right here, with your signature attached and everything.”

Wife: “But I know of no such thing!”

Operative #1: “I’ll send you a copy if you like.”

Wife: “I don’t want a copy of a form I never filled in! I want my money to be paid to me!”

Operative #1: “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do. We have paid the money, and as far as we are concerned, that’s that.”

My wife is fuming. She spends the day ringing round every accounting firm called [Accountant Firm] she can find, wishing now she had asked for details from the less-than-helpful tax operative she spoke to in the first place, but she has no luck.

Wife: *To me* “If I hadn’t been so angry and worried, I would have been calmer with her and asked her to send me all the details she had, but she was so snooty and dismissive I was seriously not in the mood.”

After attending to this all day, she rings the tax office again, and this time speaks to someone different. She explains what has happened so far.

Operative #2: “Thank you for telling us about this. We will indeed look into this. You confirm that you never made any such authorisation?”

Wife: “I certainly did not. Is there anything you can do?”

Operative #2: “Certainly, we can. It appears that they never actually got round to processing that cheque. We can stop that cheque now and issue you a new one.” *Pauses* “There, that’s done. You should now get your new cheque. It may take a few weeks to put it through the system, but it should arrive in due course.”

Wife: “Why couldn’t that be done when I first rang up?”

Operative #2: “It could and should have. I’ll look into it. Anything else I can help you with? No? Good day, then, and apologies for the inconvenience.”

We took that to mean that they will investigate what actually happened, as it looks as though there has been an attempt at fraud.

Related:
Taxing Taxing, Part 9
Taxing Taxing, Part 8
Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6
Taxing Taxing, Part 5

Taxing Taxing, Part 6

, , , , , , | Right | September 2, 2020

I am a paid tax preparer. In Minnesota, there’s an additional tax form called the M1PR Rebate of Rent and Property taxes. It’s a repayment of part of your property taxes, or part of the rent your landlord used to pay their property taxes.

It’s filed separately from your normal tax return, and the due date is August 27th of the next year.

It’s the last day to file your income taxes for this year. A client comes in with two sets of taxes, a full tax return for this year, and a rent rebate for last year. It’s not yet August, so there’s plenty of time to file the rent rebate for last year.

I’m getting many, many, many clients. Due to the health crisis, all of our major competitors are closed. We’re the only open tax office in the city.

I’m in triage mode. Many clients are bringing in returns from all sorts of years. This year, last year, three years ago, fourteen years ago… I’ve been letting all of my clients know that this year is the year where the due date is coming up, and I’m only doing this year’s taxes. Prior years can wait till tomorrow when we are still open but don’t have a deadline.

This client is having none of this. They insist on getting their 2018 Renter’s Rebate done right here, right now. “You should do one client at a time!” the client insists.

I pass the client to our manager, who tells the client the same thing. The client then walks out and insists that they’ll get their taxes done elsewhere. They take their unfinished 2019 income taxes with them.

I wish them luck looking for a CPA or other preparer who’s willing to do a prior year’s rent rebate on this night.

Related:
Taxing Taxing, Part 5
Taxing Taxing, Part 4
Taxing Taxing, Part 3
Taxing Taxing, Part 2
Taxing Taxing


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There’s No Accounting For The Kindness Of Some People

, , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2020

I had to buy a new-to-me car when mine gave up the ghost. Happily, I found a three-year-old used car at my favorite dealership and started all the necessary paperwork. I had enough money for a sizable down payment but was still going to need the three-year plan to pay the car off.

When I sat down with the dealership’s “number’s guy,” he had one of the best senses of humor I’d ever seen in an accountant.

I have many acquaintances who are accountants and not one has a grain of humor in their being. I apologize to accountants on this site who are actual humans. I know you exist; I just haven’t met any of you.

We finally got to the nitty-gritty of the monthly payments and he quoted me a price that stunned me because of how low it was.  

Then, he said, “Oh, wait. I’m supposed to offer you [Product]. Do you want that?”

Truth was, I did want that. So, with the product added, the low price went up considerably, but it was still within my budget.

The accountant looked at it for a minute and shook his head.

“Gosh, I forgot you were in last week looking for the car when we were offering the discount. I’m such a klutz.”

“Um… I only just came in two days ago,” I said.

He said, rather sharply, “No, no, I distinctly remember discussing this with you last week. I know car shopping is stressful, but surely you remember coming in last week and discussing the discount.”

It took me a minute, but then I said, “Oh, right. Sure. Last week.”

He applied the discount, which reduced my payment below the original monthly payment he had quoted me.

That is one of the reasons I keep going back to that dealership for service and will probably buy my next car there, as well.


This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for July 2020!

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