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Supervision Is A Parenting Staple

, , , , , , , | Healthy | November 27, 2023



We’re a tax office. We have a special stapler that was originally designed to staple corrugated cardboard sheets together, but we’ve repurposed it to staple particularly large tax returns together.

One day, I’m working on some clients’ taxes. The clients have brought their thirteen-year-old boy with them. The boy is a little rambunctious and, eventually, asks permission to leave the office and wander around outside, which his parents grant.

A little later, we hear a very loud scream.

We walk out to see that the boy has used our massive stapler to drive a staple through the back of his hand.

The clients grab their son and leave for the hospital pretty much immediately, but that leaves us with quite a lot of blood to clean up.

After that, we set up a locking cage around the massive stapler.

We later come to an agreement with the clients: they won’t attempt to sue us for medical expenses from their son’s stupidity, and we won’t attempt to sue them for the expenses associated with shutting down the office and hiring an emergency cleaning company to clean up the blood. 

Honestly, I make it seem more dire than it was. They didn’t blame us, and they were actually more worried about us suing them for cleanup expenses than anything else, which we didn’t plan on doing in the first place.

Don’t You Love When They Ask For Advice And Say You’re Wrong?

, , , , , | Legal | November 18, 2023

Minnesota is offering a special payment based on your 2021 taxes of $260 per person. For some reason, the checks are being processed by a company in Montana and are being mailed out from Montana. It’s all over the news.

A client comes in with a check for $260 from Montana.

Client: “Why is Montana sending me a check and claiming it’s from Minnesota?”

I explain it to her.

Client: “I don’t believe you. This is some sort of scam, isn’t it?”

Me: “Well, I don’t see how.”

Client: “As soon as I cash the check, they’re going to empty my bank account, aren’t they?”

Me: “I’m not sure how that’s possible.”

Client: “There’s no way my check from that a**hole [Governor Of Minnesota] could come from Montana. This isn’t my [Governor] check.”

Me: “That is your [Governor] check. It looks just like all the other ones I’ve seen.”

Client: “You’re in on the scam. How much are they paying you?”

Me: “The only people paying me are [Tax Company], I promise.”

Client: “How much are they paying [Tax Company], then?”

Me: “Look… How about you take the check to your banker, and let them explain it to you, and if you still feel uncomfortable about it, you can just shred your check?”

Client: “But will I get my [Governor] check for $260?”

Me: “Not if you shred it.”

Client: “But I want my $260.”

Me: “So cash the check.”

Client: “But it’s a fraudulent check.”

Me: *Pauses* “I think I just heard my next appointment come in. I’m afraid we’re out of time for today. Have a nice day.”

My next appointment had not come in, but I was done dealing with this person. She left, promising to talk to her banker.

That’s One Swollen-Looking Tax Return

, , , , , , | Right | September 22, 2023

I work in a tax office that’s in an office complex shared with a couple of doctors’ offices. A guy comes in who can only speak Spanish. I grab my Spanish-speaking coworker to translate, and they chat for a few minutes.

After the guy leaves, my coworker comes back up to us, looking a bit exasperated.

Coworker: “Did you guys do that on purpose?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Coworker: “Did you put him up to that?”

Me: “No! What did he say?”

Coworker: “That guy just told me all about his swollen balls, in very graphic detail, like it was nothing. I had to tell him he was looking for one of the doctors’ offices.”

Me: “He thought we were a doctor’s office?”

Coworker: “Yeah! He just walked into the first door he saw; he didn’t read any signs. I had to tell him, ‘Sorry, sir, we do taxes, not testicles.'”

And You Thought YOU Had A Toxic Work Environment

, , , , , , | Working | September 5, 2023

I managed a tax office for a large corporation. Recently, one of the other managers retired. The fridge in his office is infamous because he refused to clean it; it “wasn’t part of his listed job responsibilities”.

The new woman chosen to replace him decided to take action on this matter and clean the fridge. It was last cleaned before I was hired, and I have been with the company for about fifteen years.

I offered to help clean, but the fridge was too gross for me, so [New Manager] ended up tackling the fridge while I handled the rest of the office. During the deep cleaning, I found a political screed taped end to end for fax spamming hidden in one tax pro’s desk, but that’s another story.

The next day at our meeting, [New Manager] was pale and sweating. She was clearly sick.

Me: “Maybe this is from cleaning the fridge.”

New Manager: “Yes, I think that’s the most likely cause.”

The day after that, she video-called in. She was pale and sweating, had a fever, and was throwing up, but she was still trying to do the end-of-season procedure with the rest of us.

The day after that, she was in the hospital. She stayed there for a while. I’m not a doctor, and I was never told exactly what happened, but it was more than a month before the next time I saw her.

She told us (the other managers) that she had been severely sick and had been in intensive care for a while. She said that when she tried to get workman’s compensation, she was told that the claim wasn’t valid because the task was outside of her job duties.

In response to this, we revolted a little, staging an impromptu work-to-rule strike until the district manager finally rewrote our official job duties to include cleaning (and a few other common tasks that we often do that could have injured us).

The company that handles our workman’s comp claims then changed the reason they were rejecting her claim to, essentially, “You can’t prove that it was cleaning the refrigerator that did it and not something — anything — else.” So, she still didn’t get her claim paid.

She quit. Several of us did, too, including me. I still manage a tax office, just for a different company than before. My pay is very similar.

The Bar Is Low, But This Is Ultimately A GREAT Interaction With The IRS

, , , , , , , | Working | August 24, 2023

Several years ago, during the paper filing days, I prepared a tax return for a widow. I filled out estimated tax payment forms for her to pay $600 each quarter.

The following year, I prepared [Client]’s income tax and entered the $2,400 credit. A few months later, she got a letter from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) stating that she owed $594 plus a penalty and interest. I asked her if she paid all four payments, and she said she did, so I had her bring me the canceled checks to prove she didn’t owe this.

It turned out that the IRS only gave [Client] credit for $6 for the June 15th payment because she wrote the number $600 without a decimal and two zeroes for the cents. The bank gave the IRS credit for $6. But the legal cursive writing on the check was spelled out as “six hundred dollars and no cents”.

I sent a copy of the check and a letter requesting the removal of the penalty for underpayment of estimated tax, along with a new check for $594 plus the interest.

A few months later, [Client] received a check for over $620. We sent the check back, explaining that the IRS was confused and forced the $600 into her account.  

IRS sent the same check back with a handwritten note telling [Client] to cash the check and not to send it back again.

IRS never found their mistake.