April 09, 2008

Putting the "Ire" In IRS

Being good little citizens, the Missus and I filed our tax returns back in early February. A couple days ago we got a notice from Uncle requesting and requiring us to fill out the Alternative Minimum Tax form and send it in. No refund for us if we don't!

Well, after all the nuisance and bother, I did fill out the AMT form, and it turns out that we paid more than our calculated AMT.

I knew this was going to be the case anyway, but it strikes me that if the IRS makes us go through this extra song and dance, it's only right that if the calculated AMT is lower than what we actually paid, we ought to only get charged the AMT and should get back the extra we put in.

I mean this is perfectly reasonable, right? Plus, it would act as an incentive for the IRS not to be such a nuisance.

Posted by Robert at April 9, 2008 11:38 AM | TrackBack

I recently received a letter in the mail from the IRS stating that I owed them $12K in taxes plus $2.5K in interest and another $2.5K in penalties for 2006. After the shock, the grief, and the tears wore off, I quickly determined that the mistake was theirs and not mine. What amazes me is that they can charge me penalties but when the mistake is theirs and requires my time and my accountant's time to clear up, I don't get to charge THEM penalties for THEIR error! (But I do have to say that they surprisingly VERY nice in clearing the matter up and even did so over the phone!)

Posted by: bobgirrl at April 9, 2008 01:27 PM

Holding the government accountable for it's errors would bankrupt the government. Unlike the current situation where it's only $9 trillion in debt.

Posted by: rbj at April 9, 2008 01:59 PM

I used to work at IRS (Austin Service Center) back in the 70s. It was, by far, the WORST place I ever worked as far as employee treatment. Even my two previous tours in Vietnam were better. It was a white-collar job (some referred to it as gray-collar since we were office workers on production...x number of 1040s an hour, 2x number of 1040As an hour, etc.) but it really inhaled rapidly and deeply. Over my time there I had several different jobs (unpostables, error correction just for two), but all had one thing in common. That thing was identified by a wag on one of my shifts: Since we had no recourse against management when they treated us like crap, they treated us poorly because they knew the only one we could take it out on was the taxpayer. And there were days we did. (I can still hear his booming voice, directing his comment to the paper personification of the taxpayer: "You lose, Cruise!" Maybe it was a bad day for the tax examiner?

Posted by: Dan. at April 9, 2008 07:14 PM

The great thing about TurboTax is that it knows whether you need to fill out a Form 6251 and will crank one out if required. Well worth the $19.95 a year for the Basic version.

Posted by: ScurvyOaks at April 10, 2008 02:46 PM