So the IRS sent me a letter from the future

time-travelIt arrived yesterday, April 20, and was dated next week, April 27. Evidently, they haven’t received my check for my 2014 tax bill, which wasn’t huge and I’m not complaining, but it’s the IRS and you don’t want to mess with them so:

I immediately called their 800 number and spent 10 minutes punching numbers, only to find that the check had not, in fact, cleared, but the recorded voice told me that it might take two weeks, and since I mailed it on April 11, that means I should sit tight until April 25. I’m very literal that way.

But imagine my confusion. The letter I got yesterday was dated two days after that, and it’s the government, so maybe they know the check was lost somewhere and they want their money. It’s not a lot. The penalty and interest amount to 32 cents. I suppose I could challenge that figure, but both I and my government have better things to do than argue over 32 cents. I’ve decided to wait a few days, and then if the check doesn’t clear, pay the amount, plus the 32 cents, and tell them that the 32 cents is a donation that I would like to be used for research into time travel , to maybe make it available not just to government entities, like the IRS, but to regular citizens, like me.


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  1. WaPo:

    GOP lawmakers repeatedly have cut the agency’s budget over the past several years, including a 3 percent reduction this year .

    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday that the budget punishment has been so harsh that he may have to shut down the agency sometime this summer.
    Mr. Koskinen’s warning comes on the heels of an ominous report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson , who represents everyday Americans’ concerns at the IRS. In her annual report to Congress, Ms. Olson described an impending customer service disaster as the agency struggles to do an ever more complex job with less and less money. About half of the 100 million or so people who will try to call the IRS this year probably won’t get through. The agency reckons that even those who do will have to wait 30 minutes or more. Those who tough it out on hold won’t be able to ask anything but basic questions because the agency has limited the topics its taxpayer support staff may answer. The agency will also reduce services at walk-in centers and stop helping elderly Americans fill out their tax forms.

    [T]he agency has seen its inflation-adjusted budget reduced by about 17 percent since 2010, Ms. Olson calculated.

    They’re probably too busy dealing with the 800,000 incorrect ObamaCare® subsidy/income assessment forms they sent out earlier this year to answer the phone.

    1. I really did get a laugh out of this, until I got mad about it. If the check doesn’t clear this week, I’ll send another with the letter I already wrote asking the 32 cents be applied to time travel research.

      1. I wouldn’t write them another check without talking with your bank first. They’ll know what’s cleared and what’s not and how to proceed.

  2. That’s hilarious! And it’s a ridulous waste of money on mailings & postage fees to people for no reason if checks across America are in the process of clearing. Couldn’t they wait a week, for real? I’d bet on them being inefficient IRSers over being time travelers. If I’m wrong, I hope they hurry up on making it available to us regular folks.

    1. That’s my dream, though I don’t think I’d go back in time any longer than I’d need to slap some folks. I’d go forward.

      1. I’d be tempted to go waaaay back with today’s Bible and a red pen, and ask Jesus if he’d mind editing.

        1. Or, we can do as some Christians already do, and stick to the red parts, the parts where Jesus speaks. We can treat the rest as just filler. I kind of do that already. Sorry, Paul.

          1. We could. I’m not even sure Jesus said what they said he said. Maybe we could time-travel him here and he could straighten all of us out. (See how I made a new high-tech verb?)

  3. As I stood in line at the post office on April 14, waiting to get certified and return-receipt services for my federal and state returns (I was late this year), I noted signs stating that a new system was being introduced and so our transactions might take a little longer. This in the week when soooooo many were at post offices for just such services. And in a post office, in the center of my town, which has been reduced by half in size and by 60 % in clerks — the two clerks were dancing as fast as they could.

    1. I’ve noticed the same at our P.O. – that they seem understaffed. I recall wishing I could have given the woman working a coffee break last time I was there.

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