Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baby's Got Back...Tax Forms

Friday I stopped by the Internal Revenue Service office to pickup some forms. I've been a regular customer there for many years. In fact, I keep expecting them to send me my Rewards card. No luck yet. My visit is something I do annually just like getting my pap smear and mammogram. Not nearly as pleasant, but for some reason, I look forward to it just the same.

For a moment, I stood outside, with my hand on the door of Suite 300, preparing myself to savor the freshly printed ink on paper smell that I love. Getting ready to fully immerse myself in the experience of Tax Year 2009 in 2010. Each year is unique and, if not special, well...then not special. Wondering what new forms I would find this year. There's always some kind of surprise. A new addition. A deletion. Earned Income Credits for which I never qualify. An unexpected change on Line 42. I know. Don't hate me because I live such an exciting life. The glitz. The glam. You couldn't handle the pace.

It never fails that the forms I need are gone. The IRS agent at the desk by the door has a stock answer when asked if he has any more:

"I think we have some in the back."

Picking up his keys, he waddles to the door, unlocks it, and reappears with the needed forms. He must do this a 100 times a day. Can't figure out why they don't just put the darned things out front. I mean, why would you want a Form 4562-Amortization and Depreciation for the fun it all. But, hey, from what I saw, that was the best part of his job. Who am I to be killjoy.

Then, there were the two agents in the two, semi-unprivate cubicles helping people one-on-one. I only had to go in there once. A long time ago, when we started our first business, we didn't have the money to pay the taxes. We didn't know that, when you're self-employed, you have to pay estimated taxes because you don't have an employer to make your withholdings. Which means, that you have to guess how much money you're going to make and pay them before it is actual income.

If you don't guess high enough, they get to penalize you. If you pay too much, you don't get to penalize them. That's how they roll. It's a little more complicated than that, but that is the general idea. That was when I found out that you can request to get on the IRS payment plan. Hot diggity! A payment plan? Who knew? I like payment plans. They're much better than not filing. The penalties for not filing are a lot higher. A LOT!

But this year, there was something new. I didn't notice it right away. Over in the corner, sitting on a stool, was a security officer. Never, in my nearly 35 years of visiting this office, has there been extra security. I overheard the door agent saying it was a protection the government implemented after the guy flew his plane into an IRS office a few months back. Uh, hello, security might help if someone walks in with a AK-47. But, I don't think this overweight guy is gonna stop someone from flying a kamikaze mission into the building. For crying out loud, he's inside and could never see the plane death spiraling down from the sky.

He was checking people out, though. He even checked me out. At first, it kind of made me wonder if I was, some how, suspicious looking. But then I thought, oh, he's just zoomin' my boo-tay. Girl, all those Pilates classes are paying off, I think to myself. Damn, I love going to the IRS office! Until next year, Mr. Security Man. (wink)


Mrsupole said...

nd juss meembir dat da bigga yar boo-tay da smarta yus iz

tem thar sceenteefeekal meenz av risentlee dazcuverrd tha tare fakto cuz i risentlee tosted tis tare on mie Crap ciit

ceez ow mart i'z nkow

whood of thot dat da bigga da bootay da smarta i beez

woez i'z kot cur wot da IRS iz nd whi u iz soe hipy te ceez tem nlez tez iz ta meenz hoo ceen mi beig bootay nd bains

luuvz toes meenz woos nose da smarta wumeenz wen te ceez tem

God bless.

Jai Joshi said...

I love how you take the most boring tedious errand and turn it into an amusing anecdote. And the part about the security guard chilled me. What is this world coming to that people will attack their own government buildings? It makes me shudder to think of all the poor people in that IRS building that got hit.

Anyway, I don't mean to get into a ramble. I'm glad you got your forms in the end. And I'm sure those pilates classes are tons of fun!


jinksy said...

Catapulted me back to when I worked for the IRS here. EEK! I remember being deluged with Self Assessment returns; one sweet accountant used to send in his secretary at five to five on the last day and ask for recipts for the 100 or so completed tax forms she brought in. Nightmare!

Ronda Laveen said...

Sherry: I'm happy to know that my brains are in my ass 'cause mi dear mother always tol' me: you're sittin' on yur brains. She was a woman ahead of her time.

Jai: Yes, it really was quite chilling to realize that, most likely, even the smallest IRS office in the country has added security due to this incident.That's a lot of extra money, manpower and resources that could go for good instead of just maintaining the balance.

Dave King said...

Seems to me that these days "they" never have the forms. "They" don 't send you forms any more, either. "They" tell you to go home and download them.

25BAR said...

lol. it's that time of the year, is it?

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

This is hilarious, Ronda. Quite a feat to find so much humor in a visit to the tax office.

Hope the bottom line has you smiling and winking, too.

lettuce said...

less pleasant than smears and mammograms, eh?

we've only recently had to start learning about self-assessment (as opposed as pay as you earn tax) - but seems to be different over here, you pay for the previous tax year so is based on final income figures not guess work. So i guess we should be glad for that at least...

Brian Miller said...

just got my check depositied in my account yesterday...was so happy i could kiss someone, so i did...when i got home...smiles. lol. mr security guard.

TechnoBabe said...

I will have to find out if hubby and I have to file as self employed now that we have his CD for sale. We may not sell many and it won't be income to match what it cost unless he becomes a hot item. Guess I will wait till after the 15th and call IRS. Now that you mention the pre pay for self employed it got me thinking. Sheesh. You do add a lot of humor to this otherwise less than happy yearly chore. Thank you for your sense of humor and your very enthusiastic way of writing.

jiturajgor said...

This is really some thing similar, I had experienced at government offices.Here in India,they have no shame in telling clients "come next day", which ultimately never comes, until you pay something.Not being 'killjoy' is not sufficient here.
Thanks for posting.
Oh,forgot to tell, you are a wonderful writer, Ronda.

Deanna Schrayer said...

I'm wondering if, since the guy "waddled" to the back to get the forms, if he'd set up the plan on purpose to get some exercise. :)

I agree with Jai - you have such a great way of making the boring seem like so much fun.

Fortunately the hubby takes care of all our finances, (he's an accountant), so he gets our taxes done on Feb 1 every year. But this year he messed up - he didn't think to deduct all the extra electricity and such it takes for me to work from home, (even though I don't work for myself, we should get something out of it, right?) I guess I might be helping him out next year.

Jen said...

Ugh! I have to get that done soon. I'm not in a hurry to send that check even one day earlier than I have to.

Baino said...

Haha the security guard does seem a bit of overkil! Reminds me I'm waay overdue to do my income tax return but here, it's all online baby, none of this walking into the ATO, I wouldn't even know where they are! Hope you get a little pressie back from the tax man!

JGH said...

Those IRS agents and security guards must be SO grateful that you are there to keep them on their toes, Ronda. What, without you there might be forms in the back that never see the light of day! Thanks to you, they've enjoyed a moment of spring sunshine. And god only knows what kind of thrills you've given that security guard!

My husband is self employed and has to do that pre-payment thing. Sometimes we end up owing more and it's a real drag.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jinksy: I'll bet you loved that accountant! Sheesh. Some people have to make life so hard on others. I'm not aware of Self Assessment but I see others here have mentioned it.

Dave: We can download them to but, by the time I search through all of them, I could go to the office.

25Bar: It certainly is that time of year again.

Lorenzo: I always try to find humor in the most difficult or stressful situations. Makes life much easier if I take it on the chin.

Lettuce: Yes, and you know how pleasant mammos and paps are:-0
Just starting to read about Self Assement taxes here today.

Brian: I was hoping you didn't kiss Mr. Security Man:-)

TechnoBabe: Hopefully, hubby will go viral and be a huge, huge hit. How wonderful he made a CD. Did you post it up?

Jiturajgor: I had no idea when I wrote this that I would learn so much about the tax systems in other countries. I find it fascinating. Thank you.

Deanna: You definitely should get something for working at home. How nice your hubby is an accoutant. Ahh, that would be so nice but, I guess that even accountants need help now and then. I'll bet that is how the man gets his exercise.

Jen: Ugh, I know. Now that I have those forms I have to fill them out. I must get off internet soon. Soon, I swear. Just a few more minutes.

Baino: I would love it if we did our taxes on line. For hubby's biz, I pay his sales tax online and love it. I hope I get a pressie too but, usually not the case being self-employed.

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. Security officers at the IRS. What next?

BTW I think you DO lead quite a glamorous life. Except for maybe this - your annual trip to the IRS. Though if anyone could make it look good, it would be you!

Felicitas said...

Girl, it's ALWAYS about the bottom line... even when it's about something else!

Who Is Afraid of Tim Burton? Two?... said...

Hi! Ronda,
This post was great it have all the "ingredients" that I like:...A pound of Informative information, A sprinkle of humour,(LOL!!!!)and more than a dash of very well written words.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Ronda Laveen said...

Reya: My life is so unglamorous. I mean, if I look forward to going to the IRS as a fun time well, then...I'm pretty boring. But I do like to have fun with every thing I do, if possible.

Felicita: Ha! You are right, it is always about the BOTTOM line:-)

DeeDee: Hey, girl! Good to see you around again. Thanks.

tony said...

Sometimes,Life Can Be Very Taxing.........

Dorraine said...

I wanna go to the tax office with you, Ronda! It sounds like a hundred times more fun.

Don't worry, you can have the boo-tay attention. I'll take the gliz and glam. Maybe I'll ask Mr. Waddle if he's stashed it in the back room.:-0

Ronda Laveen said...

Tony: Oh, ho, ho, you are quite clever today!

Dorraine: I think we could have a really good time at the tax office. I'll try to pretend I didn't notice you and Mr. Waddle disappearing into the back room!

otin said...

So he was checking out the caboose? LOL!

You probably won't mind tax season any more.

Ronda Laveen said...

Otin: Yep, I got a new feeling to go with taxes now!

Jill said...

Ooooo! Ooooo! Ooooo! I am laughing! Those Pilates classes are worth every penny! Will you have to go back tomorrow for the form you forgot????

Christina said...

He wasn't checking EVERYBODY out, you know. You're just too humble to see that! :)

C.M. Jackson said...

Laughter now that is what I need. You just made tax day a pleasure and I am glad to hear that those pilates classes are paying go girl!

Ronda Laveen said...

Jill: Oh, yeah! I think, now that you mention it, I must have forgotten a form...even if I end up not using it.

Christina: Ah, I was afraid to even hope such a thing.

C.M.: Happy to brighten your day! Yes, we all, or at least many of us, need a little stress release at this time of year. And I am not going to quit those classes. Next year, I'm hoping he doesn't even recognize a good way.