Taxing Really Lives Up To Its Name

, , , , , | Working | September 7, 2019

I am a female veteran and I have just moved to a new state right before tax season. As such, all my paperwork is from out of state. When I register at my new Veterans Affairs office, I’m told there is free tax prep, where you fill out paperwork at the VA and the tax people call you to confirm. So, in February, I fill out all the paperwork at the office and it is sent off. I’m told the tax people will contact me in April.

April rolls around and I get a voicemail from the tax people. I try to call back to arrange an appointment with them, but I just get their inbox saying it is too full to leave a message. I call the VA office and they assure me it is just because they are so busy, but I will be contacted by April 15th.

On Tax Day 2019, I finally get an actual caller on the phone, who tells me they are calling because I do not qualify for the tax prep! As all my paperwork is out of state from my previous job, I am outside their jurisdiction.

The woman tries to hang up on me, but what she doesn’t realize is that I was a Drill Sergeant. And I let her have it. I remind her that I am a veteran, that other veterans use this service with the understanding that we are taken care of, and that the least they could do was call me and tell me. I also tell her that the VA office did not give me notice, which means they have given wrong information to the VA, and they are now officially responsible for whatever wrong information is incurred.

The woman on the other end is very meek and apologizes over and over again, but I just hang up on her, as it is the afternoon and I now have less than five hours to get my taxes done. Luckily, I do it online and it is not as hard as expected.

The next time I am at the VA, I stop by the office and inform them of the call. They are absolutely furious, as no one has ever told them that and they have sent in paperwork from out of state before! They tell me that if the IRS contacts me or if there is a problem to immediately come to them and they will make sure the tax people are held responsible.

While I don’t think there will be a problem for this year, I’m going to shell out the money for tax prep next year.

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A Deduction Reduction

, , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(As tax students, we have to work at a tax office for two weeks during the period everyone has to fill in their tax return forms. We help people fill in their forms if they have trouble understanding how it works. In the Netherlands, you’re allowed to deduct expenses on certain items of clothing and bedding from your income so you don’t pay tax over them, if you pass a certain threshold. This is proven by simply showing me the receipt. I’m with a 73-year-old customer who has deducted money for this for the last few years and wants me to do it this year, too. He was already slightly irritated when he came in. As students, we don’t have access to any of the databases, so we can’t check any previously filled-in forms.)

Me: “Did you have any expenses on clothing and bedding for medical purpose this year, sir?”

Customer: “Yes, about €400.”

Me: “Can I see the receipts, please?”

Customer: “I don’t keep a receipt; it’s just the regular stuff everyone buys.”

Me: *slightly alarmed* “You mean normal clothes?”

Customer: *getting more irritated* “Yes, clothes like you’re wearing; you can deduct them. I do it every year. Go check your database.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we can’t check any databases, and also I’m not allowed to let you deduct anything if it’s for regular clothing.”

Customer: *now getting red and talking very loudly* “Well, I’ve been doing it for years. What kind of nonsense is it that I can’t do it now?”

Me: “Then you’re lucky you’ve never been caught in the past few years. I surely will not allow it now.”

Customer: “Next thing you tell me is you won’t deduct my Viagra, either.”

(Luckily for me, he had a prescription for that, so I didn’t need to have the same discussion all over again.)

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Will Call At The Appointed Time, And All Other Times

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I work in a tax office. I overhear this conversation between a customer and the receptionist:)

Customer: “My name is [Customer]. I have an appointment today.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry; your appointment is for Tuesday.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s right. But why didn’t you call to remind me it wasn’t for today?”

Receptionist: *speechless*

 

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Snowhere To Go

| Right | March 6, 2017

(I work for a well known tax company. We are about to have a huge blizzard overnight into the next day. A state of emergency has been called and several businesses, including ours, are closed for the day. We’re about to leave for the night when the phone rings.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Office]. This is [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Client: “Hey, my work gave us the day off tomorrow because of the storm. I’d like to come in and have my taxes done.”

Me: “…”

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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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