Snowhere To Go

| Boston, MA, USA | 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: “…”

A Taxing Conversation, Part 2

| San Antonio, TX, USA | 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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