Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Kinder, Gentler IRS?
It was bad enough that I had not yet started working on my taxes. When I got home from work on Thursday, Fran handed me a notice from our friends at Revenue. The notice suggested that a meager payment of $2000 would make them very happy and that they would go away. All I could think about was $2000 bucks of MINE in the pockets of some idiotic AIG executive. Not Happening.

It turns out that I failed to claim a stock trade that I made in Dec of 07. As far as I know I never received that 1099 from Fidelity. Making matters worse, was that these shares were originally held in a Smith Barney account and The Company (BMC), moved those shares for all of us employees sometime in 07. And because of that, I did not have prior 1099s from Fidelity, so I overlooked the fact that I needed one now. Sheesh.

Well after reviewing that transaction, and pulling up both my Fidelity and Smith Barney accounts, and also calling my friends at Fidelity, I was finally able to determine my basis in this transaction. I pulled up my return in TurboTax and added this trade to the mix and voila - $389 is the tax owed, not 2 grand.

I wanted to get this fiasco over quickly in part so that I could have the JOY of working on my 2008 return. However, I realized that there was no way for me to compute the interest and/or penalty's that might have accrued. So I called the IRS in an attempt to get those numbers so that I could write them a check and move on.

It took a few tries before I managed to get past the automated attendant and actually talk to a real person. Once they qualified me as the real me, they asked for my basis in the transaction. Then they told me, "You will owe $389. Is that right." Yep. Then they told me, "don't do anything with that paperwork that we sent. I am sending you a new copy with these updated numbers. You can pay in 30 days or so after you get the new forms."

Wow!

I was amazed. The agent I spoke with was very friendly, nice, smart and efficient. I could not imagine a better experience. Really Amazing.

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Comments:
I'm not sure if it's related, but this is the first year I've ever done my taxes without swearing at someone, either the tax prep software or the government. (And now the captcha I'm supposed to type to submit this comment is 'bankin'. Gorgeous.)
 
My Taxes seemed to go smoother this year as well. My Turbotax experience seemed better from a usability perspective. But those Intuit guys make me NUTS with the continual nags to upgrade to the next version.

> I'm supposed to type to submit this comment is 'bankin'. Gorgeous.

THAT is funny! Coincidence, or a Google prank? ;-)
 
Great story...maybe this is a new trend.
 
Mike - Lets Hope So!
 
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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012