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Taxing Taxing, Part 11

, , , , , | Working | October 9, 2021

Back when the Affordable Care Act was first implemented, I was only on my mother’s insurance, since I didn’t get insurance through my job. When it came time to do taxes, I used a computer tax program to file. When it got to the part about insurance, I put that I had insurance but didn’t pay anything as I was not the policyholder.

A couple of weeks later, I receive a notice from the IRS saying that my taxes were missing Form 8962, which is the form for insurance. My taxes won’t be filed until it is submitted. I do the form myself and send it in. A few weeks later, I receive my tax return and it is $2,000 more than it should be. I figure out that they gave me the insurance tax credit even though I put on the form that I paid nothing toward the insurance as I wasn’t the policyholder.

I call the IRS and explain the situation and that I do not deserve this money.

Employee #1: “Since our tax department is closed for the rest of the year, there isn’t anyone you can talk to to amend the tax return to return the money.”

After this, I call a few more times and nobody will help me. I set the $2,000 in my savings account and don’t do anything with it.

I receive a letter from the IRS sometime later saying they listened to my phone calls and will investigate the situation, that I don’t have to do anything else, and that they will contact me later. The next tax season rolls around and I haven’t heard anything more. I decide I want to get this situation settled before filing my taxes for that year. 

I call the IRS AGAIN and ask them about the case.

Employee #2: “The case has been closed and the money is yours to keep.”

Me: “What are the chances you could audit me years later and hit me with fines?”

Employee #2: “It could happen, but there’s no way to know.”

I thanked her, hung up, and then thought for a bit. I called the IRS one more time and asked to talk to someone who could look at my previous year’s tax forms. I was transferred to their tax department and the woman there was so helpful. She looked over it with me and said I had done the form wrong, but they should not have sent me that money. She was nice enough to amend my tax forms for me, send them so I could sign them, and give me instructions on how to return the money.

When I received the package, I followed the instructions, sent the amended tax forms and the $2,000 back, and thought nothing of it. Then, I received a letter from the IRS that turned out to be a bill. They billed me $80 in interest for keeping money that I did not deserve. I called the IRS and asked the representative if the fee could be waived since I had tried multiple times to return it, but nobody would work with me. She told me the fee couldn’t be waived. Frustrated, I paid the $80 and tried my best to put it behind me. It hasn’t worked yet since I freak out every time I receive a letter from them.

Related:
Taxing Taxing, Part 10
Taxing Taxing, Part 9
Taxing Taxing, Part 8
Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6

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Digging Deeper Into The Red Tape

, , , , | Working | July 9, 2021

In my town, if you are planning to dig in your yard, you call a number and they’ll come out and mark the location of all sewer, gas, and water lines, etc., so you don’t accidentally dig into one. I call the number.

Me: “I’m planning on putting in a little shed.”

Operator: “Okay. How deep are you planning on digging?”

Me: “I’m not actually going to have to dig.”

The shed is a kit that you bolt to a heavy wooden platform that sits directly on the ground.

Operator: “Sorry, we only mark dig sites.”

Me: “Yes, but I want to make sure I don’t build this on top of a line.”

Operator: “Dig sites only.”

Me: “Yes… but say I build this on top of the water line, and then five years later they have to work on it? I don’t want to have to take the whole thing down.”

Operator: “Dig sites only, sorry.”

Me: “So, what should I do?”

Operator: “Call the water, power, phone, gas, and cable companies and ask if they’ll come out and mark the lines.”

Me: “Is that free, like you guys?”

Operator: “No, they’ll probably each charge you for a service call.”

Me: “You know what? I think I am planning on digging.”

Operator: “How deep?”

Me: “A quarter-inch.”

Operator: “We’ll send someone out this week.”

I couldn’t tell if she was trying to give me a hint or was just that officious.

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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Plague

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: SeaworthinessTrue988 | June 23, 2021

I work at a town hall, one of my tasks is issuing marriage licenses when health crisis restrictions ease up as they have.

Today, I have an appointment to issue a license. I grab my mask, sanitize my hands, grab the different documents, and head down to one of our rooms that’s big enough to have people standing six feet apart. Since the town hall’s doors are locked to avoid walk-ins, I have to meet them at the door. The woman has no mask; when I ask her to wear one, she says she is exempt, showing me a screenshot of a US exemption; we’re in Canada. We’re not allowed to ask for proof, so I just deal with it and pretend like she never showed me. I ask her to sanitize her hands. Again, she refuses.

Our process for a marriage license is to have them bring their application, any prior divorce or death certificates, and IDs. I ask if her partner is going to show up and she says yes, so we wait for about ten minutes. This puts the appointment a little late; we have thirty minutes for each appointment, and I have one in another room right after.

The woman’s partner arrives, we exchange pleasantries, and we get started. I’ve already checked their IDs and application by email, so I quickly recheck and write the info down. From there I get into the health-crisis-related questions.

Me: “1. Where is your wedding being held?”

Woman: “Inside the church at [Street].”

No big deal; we still allow church weddings if the group is smaller than ten people.

Me: “2. Will you be having a reception? If yes, where?”

Woman: “Yes, at [Banquet Hall].”

Red flags are sailing, so I ask the third question.

Me: “3. How big is the group attending?”

Woman: *All giddy* “Well, for my group there are about ninety-three guests, and on his side, there will be eighty or so. We have more coming to the reception. I think in total there will be 200 people or so.

I look up at her from the license. I look to the guy and then back at her.

Me: “I can’t issue a license for a gathering that large. Indoor gatherings must have fewer than ten people, including the couple and the officiant. Outdoor gatherings can have up to thirty, including the couple and officiant.”

The woman immediately flips out.

Woman: “You’re infringing my right to get married! [Health Crisis] is just a scam. It has a 99.9% survival rate! I should be allowed to get married! I’ve been planning this for three months and already paid for all the food and everything!”

I try to deescalate, telling her I can’t give her the license because it’s against the law. I hand her a pamphlet with [Health Crisis]-safe marriage information and start to walk them out. She’s still throwing a tantrum. She demands to speak to my manager, so I call her down.

My manager was already busy dealing with other stuff, so she isn’t in the best mood. The woman says I was belligerent, called her names, didn’t accept she wouldn’t wear a mask, etc.

Manager: “Well, why don’t I pull up the footage and we can take a look?”

The woman flips out even more, saying the same stuff as before. My manager is done with this.

Manager: “No clerk in [City] will issue a marriage license in this situation because it is against the law. We need to write down how many people will be at the celebration. You then have to post the green paper outside the venue and an officer may or may not drop in. If we are found to have issued a license and there are more people present, you will be fined. The clerk will no longer be able to give licenses and we will be in a lot of trouble. As you told the clerk, you have only planned this for three months. That means you’ve had enough time to know it’s a health crisis. Because of your attitude to my clerk, we will no longer be accepting any appointments for you or your partner. As far as I’m concerned, you are banned.”

She then took the application, stamped “Rejected” on it, and took it with her.

We ended up having to call security to escort them out of the building. Oh, and as for her partner, he did nothing. He literally sat in the chair and did nothing. But at least he wore a mask.

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Extensive Laziness

, , , , | Working | June 14, 2021

I’ve been working on getting a permit to build an extension on my house; such permits are required where I live. Most government services in the area are run out of the county courthouse. If you don’t know the phone extension for a specific office or employee, you call the courthouse’s main number and the receptionist transfers you to the right person.

I have a question about one of the forms I have to submit to the county zoning office, but I don’t know their direct number, so I call the courthouse’s main number. The receptionist answers, I explain what I need, and she agrees to transfer me. I’m on hold for a few minutes when the next person picks up.

Employee: “Hello, this is [Employee] in Licensing. How can I help you today?”

Me: “I have a question about [form].”

Employee: “I’m sorry, could you say that again?”

Me: “I have a question about [form]. I’m looking for a permit to build an addition on my house, and I have to submit [form] to be approved.”

Employee: “This is the licensing office. We don’t have anything to do with zoning or building permits.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Your receptionist transferred me to this extension.”

Employee: *Under his breath* “God d*** that stupid woman!” *More clearly, to me* “I understand. The courthouse recently hired a new receptionist. She’s been transferring calls to random extensions all week because she’s too lazy to actually learn which department deals with each issue. Do you have a pen and paper ready? I can’t transfer you directly to the zoning office, but I can give you their direct number instead of making you deal with our receptionist again.”

Me: “That would be great. I’m ready for the number.”

Employee: “The zoning office is [phone number]. Since you’re here, is there anything you need help with as far as licensing is concerned?”

Me: “Nope, nothing. Thanks for helping!”

Employee: “You’re welcome! Have a great day, and good luck with your addition!” *Under his breath, as he’s hanging up* “And now to yell…” *Click*

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It Makes Cents To Be Stern

, , , , , | Working | June 8, 2021

I recently moved in with my girlfriend. This means our combined income changed our eligibility for certain tax and municipality rebates, so I was prepared for letters from the city council. I was not prepared for how thorough this new city’s governance actually is.

Month #1: We received a sternly-worded letter stating that we would be receiving a letter regarding a council tax.

Month #2: We received a sternly-worded letter stating that the council tax would be reevaluated and we would be receiving a revised estimate.

Month #3a: We received a sternly-worded letter stating that we would be owing extra taxes and could expect an invoice and new estimate.

Month #3b: We received a brochure about our options if we could not repay right away.

Month #4: We received a sternly worded letter with an invoice attached.

Obviously, we made sure we repaid the eighty-three cents as soon as possible. 

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