Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Gift From My Uncle Sam

So when the mail arrived today there was a letter from the IRS.

Surprisingly enough, I didn't panic. I mean really... if you're gonna audit someone, wouldn't it make sense to choose a person who actually makes money?

I filed a few weeks ago and used the e-file system... a first for me, so I was pretty sure this was a letter telling me that I was a complete and total idiot and that I had fucked up my return and would need to go sit in a corner and re-do it.

Turns out I was kinda right... but in a good way. Apparently, I actually qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and since I failed to claim it, they were writing to tell me that all I had to do was fill out a little form and they would be sending me a check for the amount due to me.

Wow. I thought the Earned Income Credit was only for people with kids, but apparently if they consider your income to be pitiful enough, even the child free can qualify. Who knew? Well, obviously they did, but you know what I mean.

Yanno... this is actually the second time that the IRS has written to tell me that I didn't take a credit that I was qualified for and that they were sending me money.

It sort of leaves me feeling a tad bit funny. I mean, seriously? I don't really consider myself to be a person in need of government assistance. I pretty much feel like I'm living in the lap of luxury so it sort of boggles my mind that the IRS considers me to be poor enough to need help.

I actually thought about refusing the credit, but CatMan set me straight pretty darned quickly. "Are you F#@&IN' KIDDING me?!? You think Mitt Romney would turn down an opportunity to pay less taxes? Fill that form out right now!"

Still, I can't help but feel a little bit guilty, even though it's not very much money. I mean I am "broke by choice". Plus, it sort of shatters the whole picture of IRS as horrible boogeyman. If only some of those "aspirationals" could have this experience perhaps they'd start to realize which side of the economic divide they actually inhabit!

At any rate, if anybody out there is planning on doing last minute taxes, you might want to take a quick peek at the income levels and see if you too might qualify for the Earned Income Credit.

Happy Taxes Y'all!


  1. I'm with Catman, I say take it!

    The IRS once sent me a letter about a credit I should have taken as well. This was especially annoying since I had paid a tax preparer to do my taxes that year, but it taught me a good lesson. Doing your own taxes isn't hard, especially if you can use an EZ form! (which I can't anymore, but my situation still isn't complicated...)

    1. Seriously?!? I can't believe a paid tax preparer would miss something like that. Sheesh!

      I mailed in my form this morning. I think I'm gonna get a grand total of $26. But hey... twenty six bucks is twenty six bucks!

  2. Thank God for the EIC. Otherwise, I couldn't afford to pay my taxes. I think there should be a tax break for those who qualify for food stamps, but choose not to take them.

    1. Wait a minute... you qualify for food stamps but don't take them?!? Girl, am I gonna have to come give you a talkin' to?

      Seriously, you should take them. My father had the same sort of guilt about Social Security, but finally came to what I think is a reasonable conclusion. It is a little known fact that these sorts of assistance programs are only partly designed to help out the people they assist, they're also designed to put money back into the economy. So Dad struck a bargain with himself, he would try to spend all of his Social Security money because he felt it was his civic duty.

      He fails horribly at this task however, and much of it gets donated to charity or goes toward helping his slacker daughter pay off her mortgage - thanks Dad!

      But really... even if you don't "need" the assistance, you should take it. Maybe you could put the money you save into a fund to help you start a business, or at the very least you could donate it to charity. But you should certainly take the food stamps - it's your civic duty!!

  3. Yeah, we got a letter about some credit a year or two ago as well. A different year, I filled in some numbers ever-so-slightly wrong, resulting in underpaying my taxes by $0.67.

    They mailed me a notification that indicated they would be charging interest on what I owed, so I, in a bit of a panic, called immediately and asked what I needed to do to sort things out. The IRS rep informed me that for amounts that low, they just disregard it, no interest, no need to pay, leaving me completely boggled as to why they sent the letter in the first place. Ah, bureaucracy.

    1. No way! I can't believe they would send you a threatening letter and then just tell you to disregard it! Shaking my head in disbelief!

      It does make you wonder though... they've obviously got a computerized system that does all the calculations etc automatically... so why do they make everybody fill out the ridiculous forms? Seems to me that they only require a few pieces of information and the computer could do the rest. I guess that would put the folks at TurboTax out of business though and we couldn't have that!


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