Friday, February 19, 2010

a wild ride

Not many obsess about the IRS in mid-February.

This year, I did.

It started a week ago, when I received a friendly note from my state benefits office informing me that for reason X, Y & Z, and don’t forget about Q, they will, for a year, impute income to me. Income that I will never see or touch, but that the IRS will be very happy to tax. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Then, today, I Turbo-taxed my way to a wee refund for 2009. Mind you, hardly even a splash of coins, but it could well have been a seizure rather than a splash (moonlighting messes with proper withholding) and so I breathed a sigh of relief.

Also today, I received a letter from the IRS (always a fright), the much dreaded final word on my audited, challenged, appealed deduction, taken back in 2007 (when I was very young and optimistic). I shredded the envelope, looked inside and discovered that the IRS ruled in my favor. I do not need to go to debtor’s prison after all.

I belong to a small minority of Americans who do not despise taxation. But I deeply dislike unpredictability and confusion and so I have to say that the governing bodies who wrangle over additions, deductions, and in general, modifications to the Code (thus exacerbating confusion in my already confused head) do not have my “thumbs up.”

It seems that this month I have traversed some pretty rough IRS terrain. Can you please relax it a bit for the remainder of the year? Please?