In the manner of my people…


OK. So I said I wasn’t angry. I’ll take that back now. But being pissed off has got nothing to do with breast cancer. At least nothing wherein I can prove causation and sue people, anyhow.

Those of you close enough to hear me whine have heard about my second (yes, second) IRS audit. The Word came down just about the time I learned the breasts were history, so aside from falling apart that day, I didn’t pay much attention. Kinda like with a second pregnancy. You know what’s coming, that it’s gonna hurt like hell, cost a lot of money, and not necessarily turn out well.

The first time, being rank amateurs, we hired a tax attorney. Ended up paying him $4,000 to prove we didn’t owe the gov $8,000. The thing dragged on forever, and the attorney drove me f*ing nuts. I drove my husband likewise, I’m sure.

After dis- and reassembling the entire tax return (my work, not the $4,000 attorney’s), the man had a 5 inch thick binder stuffed with every bit of documentation I could find. He was very proud. And we ended up proving we hadn’t shorted the government a dime, though the woman reviewing us made noises about attaching a penalty for “messiness.”

Yeah. I’m a midwife, not an accountant, and I’m the daughter of both an artist and a mathematician. That’s a messy combination right there, so maybe the woman had a point. But she couldn’t make it stick.

Since then, I quit using “tax professionals” for the annual sacrifice. I knew it would come to another audit, someday, since the stuff we claim hasn’t had a reason to change. I also knew it wouldn’t make any difference to involve a third party in the deal. Instead, I bought the “audit defense” service that’s optional with most of the computerized tax programs. These guarantee you won’t get fined for messiness because they type things nicely and their math is perfect. And the poor sod being audited never has to come face to face with the nasty IRS. That’s the REAL deal. Especially when you’re post-mastectomy with a funny looking chest nobody can stop trying not to look at.

So far, so good, except when I couldn’t answer the phone & talk to the audit defender right after surgery, he got feeling sorry for me. Which means he didn’t call again. Which means that a couple days ago he did call, in a panic because his manager noticed there’d been no activity on my account. So now, suddenly, there’s a five day deadline. Not an IRS deadline, but a third party deadline (as they’d surely love it if I default and they can keep our $79.00, avoid the work, and say they’ve discontinued service for noncompliance).

What to do, what to do?

The gov’ment says they want $10,000 this time. Roughly $6,000 of that is what they say I underpaid. The rest is interest and penalties. Some of which are for–you guessed it–messiness.

Yanno, I think I’m just gonna pay the so-and-so’s. Via a payment plan. Over two or three or four years. I’d be nuts to ruin my recovery (some people go to ANY lengths for time off, doncha know). And nuttier still to go through the next surgery with this Great Matter unresolved. Or miss the impromptu family reunion my Canadian cousins have put together in the next little while.

If I get feeling better, and feistier, I can always re-submit the whole damn return. Which is basically what I did during the first audit.

Maybe Zoro will come to my rescue.

Maybe the letter I wrote President Obama (like he’ll ever see it) will bear fruit.

Nah. I don’t need to prove anything. I can pay yet another bill. Or not. Think they’d try to extradite me over $10,000? I’m just not going to worry my poor little head about it. The spouse will get on the phone tomorrow morning & use his best spouse voice to snag the best pay-the-IRS-$10,000-over-time deal.

My dad, looking on from above, will approve. And that’s what’s really important.

P.S. My parents were audited 7 times. And my dad, being an artist, had a messy room.

P.P.S. My mother, my dad’s sister, and my mom’s sister (twice), had breast cancer.

These things I do in the manner of my people.

About An UnCool Midwife

I'm a midwife who's been up all night for most of the last 30 years. Before that, I was editor of a small town newspaper. I left that job swearing I'd never face another 3 am deadline. Now I’m thinking what I really needed was a good night’s sleep. (And they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.) But I miss writing, so I’ve decided to launch a blog to record some of the brain activity that occurs between naps. I’m a little worried about exposing my tender underbelly to the pointy public, but have decided to dive in and see how we all get along. Unexpectedly, this blog has become an outlet for thoughts & feelings that occur with my new diagnosis of breast cancer and its ongoing treatment.

2 responses »

    • Sorry to take so long to reply. WordPress has you as spam, & I couldn’t figure out what to do. So I’ll just go ahead and thank you for your kind comments. They do help me through right now.

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