Friday, January 22, 2010

Nothing Says “Welcome Home” Quite Like…

…a certified letter from the IRS saying “you’ve been audited.”  It’s like a big, warm hug from the US Government.


We came home from work on Wednesday evening to a note in our mailbox.  The postal worker was kind enough to leave us a note saying we had a certified letter from the IRS requiring our signature waiting at the local post office. 

Somehow I knew right away that it wasn’t a fat refund check.  I’m pretty sure those don’t come certified mail.

Do you think I got much sleep on Wednesday night?  Do you think I was maybe just a wee bit distracted at work on Thursday?

While standing in line at the post office after work, the guy behind me struck up conversation.  He had two notices for packages from Amazon that required signatures.  He admitted that he didn’t even know what they were and found it odd he had to sign for the unknown.  I offered to trade with him.  I would be happy to sign for the unknown.  I would gladly take that risk.  Unfortunately, he turned me down. 

Upon receipt of my mail, I quickly walked ran back to my car where I ripped open the letter.  My 2007 tax return had been “reviewed.” And, in case I wasn’t sure what that really meant, the IRS was kind enough to put “audited” in parentheses after “reviewed.”   Oh, thank you, I wasn’t quite sure what that meant.

Per the IRS, I owed an additional $420 plus $21 in interest.  Geez, if you are going to audit me, please do so in a timely matter so that my interest charges aren’t so high.  Is that too much to ask?

This morning I had several phone calls with members of my Deloitte tax team.  These are the brilliant people that Ford has hired to help me with my taxes as an International Service Employee.  In theory, this is great because I would have no idea how to go about filing taxes from outside of the country.  Too many crazy rules and crazy things that Ford does to compensate us for our time outside of the US.  However, in practice, Ben and I have learned that our tax advisors are by no means tax experts

Around lunch time, I received a phone call from Ed, the guy who filed my 2007 taxes on my behalf (NOTE: this is not the same guy who filed my 2008 taxes nor is he the guy who will file my 2009 taxes…why have consistency?).

Ed:  I have good news and bad news.

Me:  Ok, the good news…

Ed:  The fax you sent me came through.

Me:  That’s the good news?

Ed:  The bad news is that the IRS is right.  You do owe them money.

Me:  Why?  How did that happen?

Ed:  Well, we didn’t really look at your husband’s W2 completely and so we missed some things when we filed for you.  There’s nothing we can do now.  You’ll just have to pay them.

Me: (too stunned at this whole conversation to come up with anything useful) Um, OK.  Thanks.  Good-bye.

Later, when I could gather my thoughts again without cursing, I did call Deloitte back to make sure they will cover the $21 in interest.


Bernard said...

I am frightened for you that you have developed labels (irs, us government) for this post. um. does that mean you have a feeling there will be more posting on this topic? are you going to secede?

Aleesha said...

I love Ford's tax advisors. I just got a letter yesterday requesting copies of cancelled checks to prove day care expenses from 2008. This wasn't even from an audit... the Canadian government is still in the initial review process to pay my 2008 refund. Granted, 2010 has JUST started, so they're only a year behind... but wouldn't Ford think to provide SOME sort of documentation for a $7000 claim?!?