Sunday, April 15, 2007

Greetings from the End of Season

The last week of Tax Season brings 'em out. Early season clients are generally just your run of the mill dingbats. One can be generous and say they are hard working folk who just don't make a lot of money.

But that would be a lie for the vast majority of them. They don't work hard. They don't work long. They make just enough to maximize their Earned Income Credit and apparently do something else that doesn't generate income tax records cause I know that if I was only making $14K a year, I wouldn't be driving an Escalade. Especially since I don't drive a vehicle that starts at $55K and I make more than $14K by a fair margin.... but I digress.

End of Season.

At our office that means we get those folks that owe the guvment. These are not, for the most part, the folks of whom I speak. Those are the people who just don't want to write that check a moment before they have to. Which is fine.

It's the other people.

Glen is our New Guy. He keeps saying "We are getting some CRAZY calls!" Welcome to the End of Season, Glen....

In the past week:

Phone rings, I answer. Person on the other end says:

I have taxes.

I pause waiting for the rest of it. Or is this just an information only call perhaps? But no. Nothing. So I say "ok". The now TESTY person says "SO! I need to make an APPOINTMENT!"

But of course....

Phone rings.

"I MUST get in this weekend!"
"I have to get my 2004, 2005 and 2006 taxes done!"
(You're in a hurry now....why?)

Person walks in. Wishes to "have his taxes done." Appointment? "No... do I need one?" (four days before taxes are due.... what do you think?) Let me see if we can fit you in...

Sure enough we can. So what does he need done? Taxes from... 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.

Well ok then.

Considers the cost of doing all those at once, decides to just do 2006. He says he'll be back to the rest later.

"Hi. I got a tax thing. How much is my return?"

(Do you now? A tax THING? Sucks to be you. IRS doesn't like to see THAT. No one wants to see your thing, especially if it has taxes on it.)

A W-2?
"Yea. That's it. How much am I gonna get back?"

(I KNEW I shoulda brought my crystal ball to work today....)

Well sir, I can't tell you that over the phone. I need to DO your return before I can determine how much you'll get back, if anything.

"What do you mean do my return? Can't you just tell me???"



"I did my own taxes on TurboTax, but it says I owe. Can you fix that for me so I get money back?"



" I've got TurboTax and it's asking me if I had any capital gains on my stocks. How do I figure that out?"

(so.... you just want free tax advice??)

I would imagine that you would enter in the differential between your sales and your cost basis plus or minus commission depending on the reporting.



"What's the last day to file?"
April 17. Next Tuesday.

"So if I file on the 17th, will it be late?"
No. The 17th is the last day.

"What if I file on the 18th?"
Then you'll be late.

"huh. Uh.... ok."
(waiting for more.......)

"So can I come in on Sunday?"
Sure. Let me give you to the person who can make that appointment for you.

*caller on hold...sent off to appropriate person*

~time passes~
That guy you gave me...wanted an appointment on Sunday?
Sunday the 22nd. Got mad when I said we were closed.
Did he make one at all?
Of course he didn't. Now he's gonna tell everyone that we won't LET HIM file his taxes.
Of course he is.


"Can I still get my credits for last year?"


"Yea. I need to get my credits."

Credits? What credits would those be?

"My tax credits."

(of course)

You can still file your 2005 tax return and any and all credits would still be available.

"ok. good."

Later...she walks in.

"I need to do my 2005 so I can get my credits."

(of course you do)

"I only have $100 to pay you."

(of course you do)

She did get all her credits. But she mumbled random numbers under her breath the entire time so we aren't sure if they were the same credits she was looking for. But we did give her all the ones afforded to her by the tax laws of the US Government and State of California.

Then there are the phone calls OUT.

"Hi...this is me calling from the tax office. I'm just calling to remind you that your return is still on hold (since January) and the deadline for filing is in four days." (and yes, I know you don't want to pay the government but they aren't going away....)

~dial number~
"We're sorry, but the number you have just dialed is disconnected or no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again."

~check number, dial again~
"We're sorry, but the number you have just dialed is disconnected or no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again."

Allrighty then.... Moving and leaving no forwarding number TO US does not mean the US Government cannot track you down. You still owe 'em.


"I went to H&R Block and they said I owe for one of those Rapid Refund things I got a couple years ago. Said I didn't pay 'em. I told them I paid it but they said the bank said that I didn't. Can you call the IRS and tell them to give me my money cause H&R Block won't do that."



"I got my taxes filed by H&R Block. But I think they totally ripped me off. Will you file my taxes and get me more money?"

We can review what Block did and see if they missed anything.

"No. I want to re-file my taxes."

Well.... you can't RE-file your taxes. It's kind of a one shot deal. But your taxes can be AMENDED if they made an error.

"Ok. Do that then. I don't know what it's called!" (said with tone and attitude)

We would have to re-enter all your information and thus, charge you the full amount we would have if you had done your taxes with us, plus another $100 for the amendment. Of course, we'd let you know if you'd be getting more back before...

"I. KNOW. They effen RIPPED ME OFF. I want you to get me MY MONEY."

I cannot guarantee that we will be able to get you MORE money. I just want to be sure you understand it can cost you at the minimum $200 and maybe as much as $500 for us to do all that for you.

"What the hell???? I wasn't the one the effed up my taxes! Block did!"

Then perhaps you oughta go back to them and insist that they make it right.

"I don't trust them."

Would you like to make an appointment?

"I have to have an APPOINTMENT??"


~~~~New record for documented mortgage INTEREST (not principle. not property taxes. not insurance. in.ter.est.):
$82,000. Yes. Eighty-two thousand dollars. In 2006.

An individual.
Personal home.

This job is an amazing look into the lives of ordinary people....

1 comment:

Martha in CA said...

HI. LAR. I. OUS.!!!!

Although I know you use the term "ordinary people" loosely.

Gah...crazy people are all around us!