No wonder everyone hates the IRS

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  #1  
Old 05-28-13, 04:48 AM
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No wonder everyone hates the IRS

Unbelievable. That's one of the more printable words I can use over this issue.

Made the BIG mistake of selecting "Check" on my 1040 instead of Direct Deposit (senior moment). Return was mailed 02/12. Checked status several weeks later and the check was "in the mail". Never showed up, so waited the required period before filing a claim for a replacement check. Faxed that in on 04/05; called to confirm receipt on their end the following week. Was told 4-6 weeks. The 6 weeks was up last Tuesday (additional days due to lag on inputting claim on their end). Was busy and didn't get to call until Friday morning. Discovered two things: (1) the online refund status had been taken offline for 10 days for "maintenance" (in the middle of tax season!!!), and (2) the knuckleheads in Washington had put the entire IRS on furlough for Friday 05/24 (in the middle of tax season!!), to reopen Tuesday morning (today). Went online this morning to get the # to see what was going on. Discovered the on-line status section was still off-line, so had to call the general info # and work through automated switchboard.

Finally got to live person and asked the $64,000 question. She took my info and put me on hold to check. The answer is that the "system" tells her I have been mailed "correspondence", i.e. a letter and NOT a check, but is not able to tell me the nature of the letter but that it is probably for confirmation of mailing address, etc, which, of course, IS ALREADY ON THE CLAIM FORM I FAXED THEM!
The "correspondence" SHOULD arrive within 10 days - WHOOPEE!!! The nice lady said the letter will likely "ask" (her exact word and no doubt from IRS-authorized wording) for an additional 30 days to trace the original check. I chuckled at her use of the word "ask" and even she laughed at that.

SO, now I'm looking at an additional potentially SIX WEEKS to get MY money back. I'm thinking by JULY if I'm LUCKY.

Now, call me crazy, but if I owe money to someone and I mail a check and they don't get it, after waiting a reasonable length of time, I mail them another check. I mean, really, does the government think I could actually get away with cashing two refund checks???

And people wonder why there is a Tea Party Movement in this country?
 
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Old 05-28-13, 04:54 AM
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And FYI for others, the entire IRS will be shuttered on June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30 in addition to regular weekends and holidays.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 07:06 AM
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Whats up with the "middle of tax season" thing? Is that for businesses?


Here's my IRS (VA state) rant. When we first moved here there was some sort of mess up with my state taxes from the prior year. Truthfully, I think I forgot to file because of all the house sale and moving stuff going on. Well, they had it in collections and I payed the full amount just to avoid any garnishment, then I went ahead and filed all the correct stuff. They refunded me the amount I had just paid them, but would NOT refund what I had actually paid from payroll taxes. Something about YOU only have one year after the tax year to file for a refund if some sort of mistake is made. Of course THEY can go after people for as far back as they want.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 07:35 AM
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Why would it be "unbelievable?" Its a government bureaucracy. I have not had an IRS refund in more than 20 years. I try to break even every year (never have) but I always make sure that I owe them, not the other way around.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 08:42 AM
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You can't win when it comes to the IRS

I made a mistake on my business return one year, I accidentally jumped up or down one line when I entered the figure which resulted in me owing instead of getting a small refund. The return was filed early and they notified me of the mistake a month or more before april 15. It took until decemeber to get it straightened out get my refund check


TG, I just remembered, our president said "it isn't your money, you didn't build it"
Hope that doesn't mean you won't get your refund check
 
  #6  
Old 05-28-13, 08:48 AM
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The Canadian version isn't much better (maybe a hair quicker, but still).

Back a couple years ago (7 now actually), my wife was getting tax checks (was a give back on sales taxes if you made under X).
We got married in September, wife gets one for the last quarter in October. Come January, they are looking for that money back (Plus Interest for the few months) as my wife is now married and my income counts. How do we owe interest if the marrage papers where submitted a month before they mistakenly issued the check (worth about a box of beer btw).
 
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Old 05-28-13, 05:00 PM
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Mystery solved! That does not mean I get my money any sooner, but at least I have a clue as to what happened.

Got my correspondence in today's mail which included photocopy of front and back of my refund check......which, judging by the deposit stamp on the back, was cashed at some sleazy convenience store in St. Pete, about 70 miles away. Nicely endorsed in someone else's handwriting. No way it was taken from our mailbox, so no telling how it got away from the USPS. I'll let the Feds worry about that. Hopefully they have people who actually investigate this kind of stuff and don't just write it off. So now I have a whole new claim form to submit.

I agree Wayne, and I probably would be "0" refund, too, except for losing my college-graduate daughter as a dependent this tax year, so had to wait to see where we stood.

What really gets me steamed is that by the time I filed the initial claim form, the tax check had already been misappropriated and cashed, so it took them 7+ weeks beyond that time to determine that and send me the check copy and additional claim form. Will report back when I finally get resolution.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 07:32 PM
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Not my experience - I messed up and the IRS caught it to the tune of sending me a $500 LARGER refund check than I was expecting.
 
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Old 05-29-13, 04:03 AM
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Hey Mitch, they were supposed to send the $500 to me but just send me half and I'll be nice and let you keep half as a finder's fee
 
  #10  
Old 05-29-13, 05:54 AM
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At least now I know where my money went on the big balance sheet.
 
  #11  
Old 05-29-13, 01:41 PM
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the_tow_guy maybe the check was stolen by the mailman we had theft of mail over here by our carrier. We knew him for a long time too and were really shocked. Supposedly his excuse was that he had a bad hip and would deliver the mail at night when he could deliver more slowly. Well it certainly was slow bills at my house a month late

Also learned a valuable lesson never put in an explanation of your miscellaneous income to your state they don't understand the explanation. The feds did but not the state so they sent me back a form wanting more information each time. I had to call them and the person on the other end said oh now I understand but could you send a copy of your federal return so they can understand. I did that and then no more problems with the state. Makes you wonder though when you try to be completely honest with them and then they do that. This year I only used what Turbo tax said to use nothing more and so far no problems
 
  #12  
Old 05-30-13, 11:20 AM
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The IRS is massively underfunded. They have no money to update their systems with for better service. They are unable to effectively enforce the tax law because of it. And then there are the restraints congress has put on them to make them even less effective. So this it eh result. The states fair much better.
 
  #13  
Old 05-30-13, 01:27 PM
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My IRS story.

I redeemed a mess of US Savings Bonds last year. I ended up needing to pay an additional $1052. as a result of the accumulated interest. The instructions said the IRS would figure any penalty or interest owed. I sent in the check although I filed on-line. A few weeks later I receive an eight-page letter that states I made mistakes and I owe an additional $1184. They also state that I need to file schedule D.

Since schedule D is for capital gains and/or losses, and I had none, I figure they are out of their minds. Well, after at least an hour of research it turns out that that my "qualified" dividends on a measly amount of stock I own (total dividends about $60 yearly) can be considered long term gains. The difference in the total taxes is only a few dollars and not worth my time to do the paperwork. Funny thing, this "qualified" dividend has been the same for several years and they have never before made mention of the discrepancy.

They also told me that I made a mistake in calculating the taxable portion of my Social Security income. Turns out that yes, I did make a mistake but certainly not to the tune of owing an additional almost $1200. I go over and over their arcane calculations and language and finally figure out that they never gave me credit for the check I sent. I look up the check at my credit union and sure enough it was cashed so I make a copy of the cancelled check and write a terse letter to the effect that I agree with the mistake in calculation that I had made but NOT to the total tax owed. I include the copy of the cancelled check along with an addition check for the difference in the amount owed.

Yesterday I pick up my mail and there is a US Treasury check. I open it up and it is for $7 and change on a tax refund. I don't know how or why but I think I am ahead now and I am going to stop. Taxes were MUCH easier when I was still working.
 
  #14  
Old 05-30-13, 05:45 PM
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I made a mistake one year on my taxes and over paid on some capital gains. So they sent me a letter telling me a screwed up and a check for the amount they owed me plus interest.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 12:04 AM
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This is why my family uses a preparer... saves you the big headache AND it absolves you of general liability - the preparer gets the gun pointed at them, instead of you.

I won't say who we use because it could be taken as advertising/promotion. :NO NO NO:

 
  #16  
Old 05-31-13, 12:15 AM
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"...AND it absolves you of general liability..."
Nope. The person who is being taxed is ALWAYS liable for the tax, including any penalties. The preparer is only liable to the client up to the amount he/she charges for the service. That is why when you sign the return you are also signing an affidavit that states that the return is a true and factual accounting.

Having a tax preparer do your return certainly is easier, if you discount the pain of paying for the service, but it is not in any way a guarantee that your return is correct.
 
  #17  
Old 05-31-13, 02:42 AM
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I agree Furd it is you the person who hands the tax information over to the preparer who is responsible for their own taxes. In case anybody doesn't already know this the IRS now requires preparers to take a test to be certified. Actually it has been going on for many years now so they at least have to have a working knowledge of tax code. But many preparers would tell you that they also use a commercial tax preparation software as they can't keep up with all of the laws but the people who make the software make sure all of that is in their software.

When our preparer retired he said find the best tax preparation software you can and you can do it yourself and if you get stuck give me a call. Or call the software developer and you usually can get things done fast and correct. There are arguments pro and con though for and against software so you kind of have to decide on your own what is best for you.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 04:30 AM
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And, of course, if you CALL the IRS for advice and the advice THEY give you is wrong, guess who is STILL liable for taxes and penalties?

We know our mail lady, she lives a couple of blocks over; she's not a suspect. I can only hope the IRS at least uses some of our tax money to track down thieves instead of just writing it off as the cost of doing "business".

Been my contention for a long time that the IRS and the 1040 need to just go away and be replaced by a national sales tax with exceptions only for food and medical. No loop holes, no tax shelters; you buy something, you pay the tax.
 
  #19  
Old 06-01-13, 03:36 AM
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I found that there is at least one person in the IRS on the state level here in MN with a heart a few years back. I was executor for my uncle after he died and discovered that there were no taxes filed for the last 3 years he was alive. I worked with my accountant and we went back and figured out what he owed and sent in the forms and a check. Several months later I got a letter saying he owed an additional $xxxx in penalties.

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I sent a letter back (with a check for the penalty) and asked if there was any way they could forgive the penalty. I detailed his 30 years in the Marine Corps, his capture by the Japanese on Wake Island, his community service, etc., etc. Would you believe a couple weeks later they sent my check back with a letter saying they would forgive the penalty!! I almost passed out!! I only wish this was a typical experience and not a fluke.
 
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