P and I have an accountant do our taxes every year because he’s too busy to do them and frankly, I’m not smart enough. Numbers tend to make me think in circles, and not logical ones. If I look at a row of numbers long enough, my head might literally explode. So, we gladly pay someone else to take care of keeping us above board with the federal government.
This year, our accountant filed an extension and we didn’t even send in our return until the end of July. Then, we got a letter from the IRS explaining that our refund wouldn’t be returned in full because we forgot to put in some information. I’m so glad that we paid an accountant. I’m fully capable of this kind of inefficiency on my own, I don’t need to hire someone to do it for me.
So yesterday I got to spend a large chunk of time on the phone with the Internal Revenue Service. I had all my information ready and when the friendly, automated voice answered the phone, I gladly typed in 1 since I preferred to hear the voice in English. Then, I punched in P’s social security number, then I punched in how we filed, then I punched in the reference number on the letter they sent and then I punched in P’s social security number again. Long pause. Please punch in the social security number again.
Automated voice repeated the number back to me and then “Push 1 if this is correct”. I pushed 1. Please enter the social security number again. Now hold for the next available representative. I held so long that I began to think it might be convenient because I could discuss next year’s return also. Finally, a live voice came on the phone.
And asked for P’s social security number.
Because apparently the eighteen times I had punched it in previously meant nothing.
The IRS worker told me to hold while he looked up our file. I held and looked out the window where Caroline was playing with a worm. I made a goofy face at her through the window and in a gut wrenching move, accidentally HUNG UP THE PHONE. Oh the humanity.
So I repeat the entire incredibly efficient process.
I know people joke about being scared of the IRS (anyone else remember the episode of Designing Women with Ray Don the IRS agent?) but there is something intimidating about calling them on the phone to tell them you want your full refund and can supply them with the proper information. I’ve never said yes ma’am or no ma’am so many times in my life. It’s like I didn’t want to awaken the beast. I was afraid if I got short tempered they would put a big yellow flag across my social security number saying “AUDIT, AUDIT, AUDIT” and I would end up shuffling down the street homeless, wearing a bathrobe. So in spite of all my frustrations and the fact that the numbers on our phone comprising P’s social security number are now faded from use, I was my most polite, patient self.
The good news is we’re getting our full refund. The bad news is that calling the IRS was the most exciting thing that happened yesterday.