Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving from the IRS

First of all, Borat for President! More on this later after my third viewing.

So the mailbox greeted me with a friendly notice from the IRS informing me that I owe them $8,000.*

Please stay with me even if numbers bore you to tears. You know, I was seriously tempted to get your attention by inflating these numbers by one or two 0's, leaving you with the impression of my wealth and prosperity in case you know somebody who's looking for an e-Sugar Daddy, but then I recalled at least one posting sharing with you intimate details of my reputation as Korean trash in the neighborhood. Sometimes I talk too much. Sigh sigh sigh.

After meticulously digging through my records, I discovered two mistakes on their part.

1) For the 2004 tax year, I overpaid the IRS by $4,000. Instead of asking for a refund check, I opted to apply it to the year 2005. The IRS is claiming, according to their tabulation, that this amount is only $3,000.

2) To close out the 2005 tax return, I sent the IRS a check for $7,000. The IRS claims not to have received the payment even though I have the cancelled check right here with me.

The friendly letter concludes with the following friendly statement (emphasis mine).

If you think we made a mistake, please call us at the number listed above.

Excuse me? "A" mistake? Oh how presumptuous of you.

So can anyone help me out with IRS etiquette and talking points for each of the aforementioned mistakes?

1) How in the world will I get them to look at my 2004 return and admit that they are off by $1,000?

2) I remember reading an LA Times story a few years back about a taxpayer in a similar situation.

He produced the cancelled check and the bank statement to the IRS, but that didn't help. The IRS insisted that their bank never got the money. Apparently your check to the government goes to a third party financial institution, which in turn pays the IRS. If that bank fails to transfer your money to the final destination which is the IRS, the onus is on the taxpayer to find the money and deliver it to the IRS coffers.

In this particular case, the taxpayer's money vanished into a black hole without a trace, and he ended up filing for bankruptcy after several fruitless years of fighting the IRS and the third party bank.

I will let you know how it pans out. I hope you will get the hint when you see on the sidebar the Paypal icon with a sign that reads:  Will Blog for Food.

* numbers rounded up for simplification

BORAT 2008


At November 21, 2006 5:05 AM, Blogger Mike Y said...

I wouldn't fret too much. I had a similar situation in the past and worked things out.

So, if they disagree with your previous refund amount, they should have provided you with a return to indicate the discrepancies.

And as far as the canceled check is concerned, do you have anything that shows it was sent to their address?

At November 21, 2006 8:06 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

The best offense is a good defense. So keep your chin up, and don't shoot 'till you see the whites of their eyes.

Let me you know if you need more help.

At November 21, 2006 11:22 AM, Anonymous BarBarA said...

So Borat is that good huh? I guess I'll go see it. I can't get anyone to go with me (ok, I only asked two people) but I don't mind going alone.

I've heard some people love it, others hate it. I think I'll love it but I'll let you know.

At November 21, 2006 1:51 PM, Blogger A thinker said...

Eek! I don't envy you. Numbers and the IRS make me cringe and run in the opposite direction.

And if it makes you feel any better, $8000 sure sounds like a lot to me--care to forward any of it on when you get your refund? ;)

Borat! Wouldn't go see it if you paid me.

At November 22, 2006 2:35 AM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

My Bible says, "Render unto Ceasar what's due to Ceasar..." -- this is one of those scriptures where I suddenly become a letter-of-the-law legalist -- "Render unto Ceasar ONLY what's due to Caesar...AND NOT A PENNY MORE!"

At November 22, 2006 9:13 AM, Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

Oh Lord...I sure hope it all gets straightened out soon. It sucks when stuff like this happens. My mother in law had the same problem and it finally worked out.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, David!

At November 22, 2006 3:49 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

There is a lady who goes to my church in Burbank who works for the IRS. Would you like her email?

At November 24, 2006 8:03 AM, Blogger A thinker said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, David. (Sorry, it's a day late) :( Hope you had a good one!

At November 27, 2006 7:28 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving in spite of the IRS (what a bunch of turkeys). Good luck with this.


At November 27, 2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

Well this must be that time of year. Today I received a "we changed your taxes" notice, to the tune of $900. LIke I got $900 laying around.

At November 28, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger SUPER said...

I'm glad I'm poor and barely exist financially. The IRS will NEVER chase after me...there is nothing to give!

Good Luck with this!

At November 28, 2006 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Cho For President

Man, on that IRS stuff, don't get too worked up about it. And when you call, if you don't get the right answer, call back. They'll be able to look up your account and get all this info pretty quick. You'll have to run the check down though, sort of like if you sent your car payment to the wrong bank.

I got hit this last two months because my mortage was sold. Well my mortgage is on autopayment. I paid the October payment on September 29th, was notified that the sale would happen October 10th, and then the new company said I hadn't paid October. Freaking out over my credit report I called and said what's up? They promised to work the issue, and I sent in a double payment in case they screwed it up. And they did. And then they screwed up the payment I sent. Now just today do I have some confidence it's settled. The point being a mortgage is a lot less complicated that tax laws so...well, just be persistent, it sounds like you know the facts and should be able to work it out.

At November 30, 2006 11:28 AM, Blogger Friar Tuck said...

I hate the IRS


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