Monday, June 21, 2010
Tax Hell: My Ordeal with the IRS
The soonest I could do anything about it was this evening, so when I got home, I called the helpful number supplied in the letter. After 15 minutes or so on hold, I finally got a human. She was kind, and seemingly helpful, putting me on hold several times. I explained to her that I'd only ever filed 1040-EZs in the past, since my taxes are relatively straightforward. But in 2009, I started dabbling in the stock market online. Last year, I managed to net $634 (dwarfed by losses this year, but that doesn't count). Because of this, I was rather clueless as to how to file, so had an "expert"* friend help me out.
The helpful IRS lady did some re-jiggering of my figures, but she still ended up with over $4,000 owed. . .gulp. Knowing that is was flat-out impossible that $600 in profits could grow to that big of a tax, I of course objected, and she agreed to put me on hold again for an "advanced" specialist. I was on hold for an eternity (with one interminable tune being played on an endless loop). In the meantime, I had The Other Half refigure my form for me. This turned out to be fortuitous, as it turns out there were several errors on my tax form.
It also turns out that I don't owe, I'm owed. Quite a bit actually. When the advanced guy finally came on the line, I explained all of this, and. . .he couldn't help me. But he did give me the address and phone number of an IRS office here in town that should be able to help me. So, I'm going to fill out all of the forms I need again (1040, 1040-X, Schedule-D), and take all of my paperwork with me on Friday. Cross your fingers for me.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: This is not a slam of my friend who tried to help me. I appreciated the help, and frankly probably shouldn't have imposed. He gave it a go. It's my responsibility.