If Patience Is A Virtue, I Must Be Virtuous..

PatienceWe have all, at one time or another, been stuck on endless-hold, listening to dumb music, interrupted by a recorded voice saying “All representatives are currently busy, assisting other customers. Please continue to hold.”

Yesterday I had a new experience when I called the toll-free number for help, printed on the letter I received just that morning from the IRS.

After pushing the obligatory “1” for English (don’t get me started on that topic), pushing “2” for menu choice, and entering my ID# for my sister’s estate – I got a recording that told me they were too busy to take any more calls today and to try again on the next business day. It was only 10:30am. Sheesh!

Well. This girl figures she is calling Washington DC, because that is where the IRS is, she saw it there, in person. So.. she gets up at 05:00AM to call by 08:00. This time, the recording tells me the office is not open, please call between 7 AM and 7PM. No mention of what timezone their office was in. At 06:00 and 06:30, still got the same 7AM to 7PM business. At 07:10 I got through to a completely different recording – Yeah!

This recording notified me that all representatives were busy with other customers, and the current wait time for a representative was over 30-minutes. And just what do they mean by ‘customers’? Like we have a choice. Victims – that’s the word they should use.

I put on my hands-free headset and checked my email. Then I worked on my book. I wrote an entire chapter before an hour had blown by.

Note to self: The IRS under-estimates the current wait time.

But I will not hang up!

I would waste all the time I have already waited and go back to the end of the line. No freaking way!  I could be at the front of the line any minute. So, I remained on hold another half-hour.  What the Hell – it was only time. I could go grocery shopping and run errands another day. I’m retired. I have the luxury of being able to hang out on hold, waiting to straighten out bogus penalties and fines for ‘late filing’ of a tax return.

Apparently, they misplaced the extension I filed back in February. When you add up the amount of the penalty, fines and interest on both, they are more than the taxes were in the first place.  I don’t think that’s fair. But then, we are talking about the same organization that squeezes taxes from the deceased.

When an actual, real live person picked up my call, she told me her name and her ID number before asking how could she help me. I scribbled this info on my letter. C.Y.A. at all times, my friends. Don’t learn this the hard way.

Jan, that was her name, sounded subdued, but friendly. The poor dear has most likely been screamed at by customers victims all morning.

Jan is a superstar in my book. After looking the account up, and not finding an extension for filing the 1041 Form (surprise, surprise, surprise!), she asked me if I have ever submitted a 1041 before. When I told her “no”, she sweetly asked me if I minded being put on hold for a ‘bit’ while she checked on a policy they had excused 1st time 1041 filers.

I almost choked on my coffee. Did I mind waiting?  Want to know what I said to her?

“No, not at all.” I told her in my happy phone voice.

Jan was not the one that kept me holding for 2 hours and I wanted to be professional and friendly. Especially since she had the power to remove penalties, fines and accrued interest from my sister’s taxes. 5-minutes later, Jan was back on the line and telling me I would receive another letter from the IRS – confirming the removal of penalties.

I almost told her I loved her.
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Death and Taxes

Do you know that the IRS keeps demanding your money – even after you’re dead?

This sure puts a new spin on Benjamin Franklin’s quote:

“‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Who knew he meant at the same time?


I am dealing with the nightmare that is my sister’s taxes. Personal, as well as her estate’s taxes. First of all, the word estate conjures up visions of mansions and filthy-rich old people. Sis was not wealthy or old when she passed away. She was unemployed, with a modest retirement account. Can’t the IRS just let it slide? I mean, she’s DEAD.  How can they send her a refund?  Duh.

As next of kin, I am responsible for filing  her 2012 taxes. AND her “Estate’s” taxes, that need reporting on a totally different form. How the Hell can I fill out forms when I have no clue about what to put in them? I only have some of her files. I can guess about what her “estate” is worth. Do you think the IRS will be OK with that?

I do know that I am not going to be stuck with paying the IRS interest and penalties because of my sister’s taxes. I have paid enough already. The probate attorney doesn’t contact me about what is going on. I didn’t hire him, so I have no “rights” – apparently. Sister’s fiancé hired him as a favor to help me out. They live in a different state of course, BECAUSE NOTHING IN THIS FREAKING LIFE IS EVER EASY – IS IT?

I am my sister’s “Personal Representative”. I believe that this title only authorizes me to sign court documents. After 11 months, we still don’t have a probate hearing scheduled.  How much research does the attorney have to do?  My sister didn’t have anything to research.  When they tell you “probate takes years”, believe it.

When things get overwhelming and I reach Threat Level 5, I get pissed that my sister is still making my life miserable.

She always was a little brat. Sorry Sis, but we both know it’s true  😉

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

Gee, Thanks For Letting Me Keep Some

Dear IRS,
I’ll be sending you half of my inheritance next week. I must have done something wrong because I could not find a loop-hole, or any exemption to prevent getting nailed with the maximum capital gains tax.

Please, insist the federal government spend my inheritance wisely. I don’t want to find out that my dear mother’s trust funded something she would disapprove of.  And if I were you, I wouldn’t piss her off.

Oh, and FYI – I will NOT be sending you money every quarter next year, so forget those voucher thingys. Everyone who could leave me money is dead. I retired and my pension is notably less than my former income.  You’ll have to look for a different grieving heir.

Now that I think about it,  you may want to put some of my inheritance in reserve – you’ll be sending ME money next year.


A Tax-Payer