I am Treasurer for our local Humane Society. This is a volunteer position and it involves paying all of our bills, keeping track of donations and fundraising efforts, writing a few grants, balancing the checkbook, and doing quarter-end and year-end taxes. It takes about 3 hours per week. I don’t mind doing it because I love the organization, and this is my ongoing volunteer activity on behalf of the animals.
For the last year or so, the IRS has been sending our organization nasty letters threatening to “levy certain assets” if we don’t supply them with some old information from 2005. First, this is just hilarious because our organization has no assets, not even a shelter or a computer. Our one part-time employee works out of her home and uses her personal computer.
Second, I have repeatedly and, up till now, patiently responded to their nasty grams with polite phone calls, certified letters, and documention with the information they’ve requested—just some old W2’s from 2005, which we sent as required at the beginning of 2006 and which the IRS apparently never entered or stored in the right place.
Not only did I photocopy and re-submt the original W2’s that we sent them way back in 2006, but I was also forced to request blank, old 2005 tax forms, which they mailed to me, and fill them out all over again. I did this and sent them via certified mail. I got the receipt back, indicating the IRS had signed for my envelope. OK—they got it.
For about 2 months, nothing. No word from the IRS. I figured they must have finally figured out that we haven’t done anything wrong and that the case was closed.
What I’m learning about the IRS is, no good deed goes unpunished. Because yesterday I received another nastygram. It sounds like they didn’t even receive my materials because they’re still threatening to levy my non-existent assets.
On the exact same day, I received another letter from a different IRS location, stating that they received my materials, but that they don’t deal with issues like this, so they’ve forwarded my materials on to another location.
That’s very annoying since, when I got the materials and sent them off, I specifically called the IRS and said, “what location should I send this to?” and I got the address for the exact location that “needed” it.
I don’t enjoy being treated like a criminal when they are clearly the ones who didn’t keep track of the materials the first time, when we routinely sent them in early 2006. And when I have sincerely, and honestly, tried to re-send them the information, following their exact directions, and they can’t seem to just look at it and log it into the system.
The Patriotic Aside
Overall I believe in paying taxes for the good of our society. I use our streets & roads & traffic signs, state & national parks, public libraries. I feel safe because of the police that my government provides in my neighborhood. I rely on our courts to prosecute bad guys on my behalf, and provide defense to those accused. I vote in democratic elections and we have a free press. When I fly internationally and return to the USA, I always feel a deep warmth and satisfaction when the Customs person says, “welcome home.”
And I believe in what the IRS does–collect taxes to pay for all this stuff. And it really irks me when I hear about some rich person (especially politicians) cheating on their taxes, and big businesses having loopholes to get out of helping pay for all these nice things we enjoy.
Back to Reality
But I can’t help but be very frustrated at the IRS in my own situation. I truly want to get this issue resolved. I have provided them everything they’ve requested, twice. I have made phone calls and sent letters. And all I get is another nasty gram!
So today, I will have the pleasure of spending my lunch break on the phone with yet another IRS rep, trying to explain the situation and make everything right. The people I’ve spoken to have all been tolerably nice, but they seem so powerless to actually help in any way.