His Own Internal Philosophy

| Working | September 17, 2013

(It’s the last day of my internship at an accounting firm, and I’m saying my goodbyes. To my surprise, one of my more stoic coworkers reaches out to hug me.)

Me: “Aww. That’s really nice of you, [name].”

Coworker: “Well, you were a good intern. I don’t hug the bad interns. I turn my back on them as they walk out the door.”

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A Taxing Conversation, Part 2

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2013

Wife: “Can we try filing separately?”

Me: “You can, but it’s not usually the best idea. You’ll disqualify yourselves from some of the biggest credits. I’ll run it through both scenarios, and see what happens. Who should have the kids on their file?”

Husband: “Put them on hers.”

(I run the return both ways. It takes about fifteen or twenty minutes, since they each have multiple jobs.)

Me: “Okay, taken jointly, you’re getting $[amount]. Separately you, sir, need to pay $[amount] and you, ma’am get $[amount] back.”

Wife: “Hmm. Put the kids on his return.”

Me: “Okay.”

(10 minutes later…)

Me: “Now, he has to pay less, and you get back less. Jointly is still the better option.”

Wife: “How about if he has one kid, and I have two kids?”

Me: “Okay.”

(Five minutes pass.)

Me: “Jointly is still better.”

Wife: “Okay, reverse it please. Him with two kids, and me with one.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Five minutes pass.)

Me: “Jointly is still better. But this other person you’ve talked about…”

Husband: “Our niece?”

Me: “Right, let me check some info out with you; she might qualify as another dependent.”

(10 minutes of interviews, and calling for info later…)

Me: “Yep. She qualifies as another dependent, and now you’re joint refund would look like—”

(The program glitches in a funny way. I have never seen this before.)

Me: “Hmm, let me call over the manager real quick.”

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Me: “The file glitched. I’ve been running different scenarios for them, and the husband’s file is giving me weird data and won’t let me delete it.”

Manager: “Can you restart a file with the wife as lead tax payer?”

Me: “I can do that, but they haven’t decided if they’re going to file joint or separate. I was just trying to get the results of the latest scenario, when it glitched.”

Manager: “Re-enter for the wife, and I’ll try to fix this file in case they want to file that way.”

Me: “All right.”

(Five minutes later…)

Me: “Okay, your joint refund is now even higher.”

Wife: “Can you try it separately, with me having three dependents, and my husband’s one?”

Husband: *groans*

(The next day…)

Coworker: “Why is there a biohazard sticker on this return file?”

 

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Hopefully, They Don’t Have Identity Theft In Heaven

| Working | April 8, 2013

(I’m calling the government on behalf of a widow whose deceased husband’s identity has been stolen.)

Me: “I need to put a hold on a Social Security number. There is a case of identity theft, and the man has been deceased for two years.”

Federal Employee: “I am sorry, but I have to speak to the taxpayer directly to hear it from them that their identity has been stolen and they did not file this return.”

Me: “But he is deceased.”

Federal Employee: “Is there anyway you can have him call us? It’s really the only way we can help you.”

Me: “Ummmm… I have a power of attorney from his wife, but no, I can’t have him call you. He’s deceased.”

Federal Employee: “That won’t help you. He has to call himself. His wife can’t answer for him. Get him to call us, and we can straighten it out.”

Me: “So you want me to get the taxpayer, who is deceased, to call you so we can get this fixed?”

Federal Employee: “Yes, you finally get it!”

Me: “Do you perchance have a ouija board available, because you are going to need it!  Can I talk to a supervisor?”

(I did get the problem fixed with the supervisor, but not before going through the entire unreasonable line of logic again. Ultimately, I had to say, “He’s dead. He was cremated and I don’t think I can assemble him again just so he can call.”)

 

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No Returns On The Returns

| Right | March 30, 2013

(It is tax season and our office is extremely busy. My boss meets with a very talkative client, his wife and their bored toddler late on the weekend in our office. It takes several hours to complete their tax return forms, but the family finally leaves with smiles. They seem very pleased with our work. The next morning we get an irate phone call.)

Client: “I am unhappy with the return you have provided me, and I want a refund!”

Boss: “Sir, I’m sorry to hear you aren’t satisfied; what is the problem?”

Client: “It cost too much!”

Boss: “I’m sorry; I don’t understand. When you were here, I went over all the fees with you. You agreed to us doing more work, and filing additional forms. You received $3,800 more in tax refunds, correct?”

Client: “Yes, that is correct.”

Boss: “And you only paid $300 extra to get that additional $3,800 refund. You are coming out ahead $3,500, correct?”

Client: “Yes, that is correct.”

Boss: “Then I don’t understand what the problem is.”

Client: “The problem is, I went home and did my return online. It cost a great deal less. I do not need your return anymore, and I am wanting a refund!”

Boss: “Excuse me?”

Client: “Yes, it was very easy to do.”

(My boss is livid, but is trying to stay calm and professional.)

Boss: “It was easy because I did all the research and work. I explained everything to you, and you had a copy of the return I had completed with you. I’m sorry; the return has already been filed with the government and we can’t pull it back, so we cannot give you a refund.”

Client: “THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! You have a satisfaction guarantee! I am not satisfied and I DEMAND A REFUND!”

Boss: “Sir, you were perfectly satisfied with our product. What you are saying is like going to a restaurant and happily eating, going home, cooking dinner and eating again, and then demanding that the restaurant give you a refund because your cooking was cheaper! We will not refund your money!”

(Several months later, we receive notice that the client is being audited by the IRS for making false statements on his return. We also find out that the past year he has filed illegally and received a tax return for several thousand dollars that he did not earn. If he is found guilty, he will be severely fined, and possibly jailed.)

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Too Taxing On That Brain

| Right | May 9, 2012

(If the customer has 1) a very small tax refund in comparison to the preparation fees and 2) a simple tax situation, we will prepare and file their tax return for free. We also run a promotion where we’ll give customers $50 cash if they have to pay for tax return preparation. This is a conversation between my manager and a very loud customer.)

Manager: “Since your refund is $137, I will file your return for free.”

Customer: “Thank you! What about my $50?”

Manager: “I cannot give you $50 because I am not charging you anything.”

Customer: “I NEED THAT $50!”

Manager: *remaining calm* “If I gave you $50, it would be like me paying you so that I can prepare your return, right? To give you the $50, I would have to be charging you something first, right? I am doing this return for you free.”

Customer: “Okay, do that! Charge me!”

Manager: “So you are saying that you would like me to charge you $100 for preparation so that I can then give you $50?”

Customer: “YES!”

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