We all have an anecdote about the bureaucratic nightmare that is the IRS. Or two. Or three.
Here’s my latest.
I received a letter yesterday from the IRS informing me that I had overpaid my taxes for 2008 by $122.10. How it is possible to have overpaid by $122.10 is difficult to fathom, given that taxes are calculated and paid only in dollars, not cents, but perhaps that is a subject for another post.
The good folks at the IRS were kind enough to explain that “Entries on your return indicate that you should have used the Schedule D Tax Worksheet or Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet to compute your tax,” and “We changed the amount claimed as child tax credit on Line 52 of your form 1040 because no amount was entered or the amount entered was incorrect based on the number of boxes checked on Line 6c and/or your adjusted gross income.”
Wow. How could I have missed that?
Now one might expect that an overpayer is entitled to a refund.
But not when the overpayee is the IRS.
The letter went on to explain that I am being fined for, “not paying a proper estimated tax for individuals, estates and trusts.” The amount of the fine, $122.98.
In a fit of charity, the agency informs me that I need not worry about sending in the 88-cent difference.
But you know what? Times are so tough, the federal deficit is so overwhelming, I believe that as a gesture of good will I shall mail the IRS a check for 88 cents, or perhaps 88 pennies.