25 April 2008

It just gets better and better...

For the first time in I don't know how long, I was told I'd be getting a tax refund. Actual money back from the government. Money to get me out of the hole I'm in...money, real money.

Now you all that follow my oh-so-exciting life via The Lettuce know that whenever something good is about to happen or has happened in my life, something bad is bound to follow. "Whenever God closes a door, God opens a window..." and then someone slams the window shut on my hands or I'm stuck behind the closed door, however you'd like to continue that metaphor.

I wait and wait for my refund like a good, honest taxpaying American. I've had to deal with smaller paychecks all year but now it's going to pay off for me. Still waiting, I go to the post one day to return with a letter from the IRS. It seems that due to several audits of tax returns filed between 2003 and I guess 2006, there is a huge debt owed to the IRS by a social security number attached to mine. Anyone want to guess who belongs to that number? Because that number is attached to my number (never mind the divorce decree that states that all back taxes owed to the government are the responsibility of my ex-husband, not me...darn, guess I gave away the owner of the other SSN there, didn't I?) the feds have KEPT my refund to be put toward the balance owed.

You are kidding me. I will admit, just to those of you reading today (but don't tell anyone) to a minor meltdown when I got that letter. My tax refund money, while not an astronomical amount, was my wedding money. This was seed money for my move to the UK. This was going to take care of the little debts I still have control over and set me firmly on the path to credit rating recovery.

I emailed my ex, who was very apologetic but was unable to help me. Seems that with interest owed, my piddly return was just a drop in a huge ocean of a balance owed to the feds. In fact, I would be willing to bet that if I hadn't told him what had happened he would never have noticed the difference when he looked over his statement from the IRS.

My dad's accountant, who prepared my returns, has a copy of my divorce decree now and is going to see if there's anything he can do. Sadly, because at the time of the first audit the ex and I were still married and he wasn't beating me I think I'm out of luck as far as relief goes.

Well, beloveds, gentle readers, it's about to happen again. Upon hearing the news that our economic stimulus payments from the feds (also known as Dubya handing out cash on his way out the door after ruining our economy for eight years) would be distributed early, I immediately beat a path to the IRS.gov website to see when I could expect a nice jump in my bank balance. I used their calculator thinking that not only would it tell me what I already know, that I'm supposed to be getting $600, but it would also say when to expect it.

Yes on the $600, but there was an interesting caveat under the total..."The estimated payment amount could be reduced, however, if you have an unpaid tax liability."

You have GOT to be kidding me. When, I ask you, do I get to be free of that relationship and free of bailing out someone else's problems with the IRS?

There had better be a crisp new $600 entry in the debit column of my online bank register on May 3rd or I may just explode. Might want to put a hard hat by the computer just in case, the fall out will be nasty.

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