Death by Taxes

I totally had a better, more provocative, more interesting thing to blog about aside from bitching. But I forgot. With recent events, you now have to read about me, once again, in a fucking mess…and even chocolate could not make it better. I might just go home and drink an entire bottle of wine.

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I somehow owe $43.46 to the State of RI. I got a letter in the mail stating that. There was a phone number. I called it. I got redirected to some lady, and three days later, she called back.

When I talked to the collections lady, she said (roughly, she talked a mile a minute for 20 minutes straight): “It’s a fee for underestimating what you owe to the State. You had no withholding, so you owed money. You paid $472 in April, but it was actually due by January 15. And really what you owed to the State was only 80% of that. I refer to it as ‘Loss of Use’ as in, in 2009 when we were doing things like paving roads, you had use of the $472. So even though you overpaid, you still owe us $43.46, it’s 1.3% interest on the fact that we didn’t get to use your tax dollars in 2009.” I told her that I worked in CT, and my residence is in RI. 

Then. She tells me that I have no 2003 tax return on file. She asked me if I was working, and what I was doing.

– I was in high school? I mean I worked, but not a lot. “Yes well you still worked and had income.” 
– I barely made enough to file? I think I made 3k? And you need to make $6k+. And you know that because you have access to my W-2. “Well if you were a waitress you still had income. tips are income.”
-I understand that, but I filed under my parents, IF I filed, because I made close to nothing. “Then you need to fill out a statement form saying that.”
-My W-2 from 2003 isn’t enough? “No you need to fill out a statement form.”
-Ok where do I get the form? “………..”
-Hello? “You have to fill out the form or else you won’t be able to renew your drivers license or register your car.”

Gee, thanks, that was helpful.

She advised me to talk to the RI State Auditor, tell her what’s going on, and she will help me. The lady also told me to tell the Auditor that she suggested I call. So I did, and left a message. Ok. Fine. She also suggested I call the State of CT Division of Taxation, since I was advised not to fill out a tax form for CT, since I was still a RI resident. I call. It was awful.

I get they have a stressful job, but I’m not calling to screw over the government. I’m a kid, who is lost in this world, and needs help.

The guy I spoke to in CT (Spanish name, super jerky attitude) was terrible:

– I was advised by HR in 2008 that I didn’t have to file a return in CT because I am still a RI resident. “::snort:: well that was bad advice.” (Thank you, jerkface. I realize that. Thus the phone call.)
– Well I’d like to know– “You have to file a CT return.” (nearly hangs up)
– Um, well here are my questions, can you explain what–“Just file. 2008 and 2009. That was dumb not to file. You worked in CT so you paid taxes and now you owe us so you have to file and pay. Unless withholding covers it. Which it probably doesn’t.”
– Ok. Well I need some help on how to–“Just go to the website. Everything is there.”

I seriously considered asking for a supervisor, because he was being so rude. This same sort of banter went on for a few more minutes, where I would try to ask a question and comprehend all this, but he would interrupt, throw in a snarky comment, and I would get more and more upset.

Finally, when my voice began to waver, I think he realized that I was just a kid that didn’t know any better, and was trying to fix the mess. He softened a little, but was still extremely curt and mildly insulting.

After hanging up, I nearly threw up. We have no tax attorneys I can ask for advice here and I’m all by myself. At PJ’s advice, I now have an approximate $250 (though it will probably be more) appointment at H&R Block on Wednesday in RI. I would say that it was worth it, if I had the money. The ironic part is, I paid money to the State of CT, and to the State of RI, and both divisions of taxation told me I overpaid, and once I refile, I should be getting money back from both states…I don’t get it? Why do they want to give me money back

And you know what else is super fucked up? If we weren’t in a recession, it wouldn’t matter. 

 

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11 comments

  1. Stressful job or not, the guy you spoke to was WAY out of line. He is a public servant and should not be calling people’s actions “dumb”, as well as being rude/short with people. If he doesn’t like dealing with people who call with questions, he should seek another job.If it were me, I’d ask for his supervisor and send them a formal complaint about the poor service you received- listing several of the rude things he said or did as examples.

  2. i’m scared to pay taxes for 2010 – i just know it’s going to be bad news ($9k untaxed income, reported…) + dealing with cross country move, etc. should be fun…

  3. oh my god that sounds awful…at  some point you should have just screamed FUCK YOU ASSHOLE into the phone and hung up. yeeeah! i think that would’ve helped. maybe you should call again and try it!! 😀

  4. I’m a California attorney, not licensed to practice in CT or RI, nor do I know off the cuff CT or RI tax law. But what exactly is the problem now? You need to pay $43.46? Some states allow you to apply for a waiver of the penalty fee if you can provide a reasonable explanation. Soem states do not. Look up online whether Rhode Island’s Division of Taxation grants its tax dept. discretionary powers to waive penalty fees. If not, you might have to suck it up and pay the $43.46. As for the CT tax return, here’s the law: http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?A=1512&Q=269328 (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 12-700(b)-1. Connecticut income tax imposed upon nonresident individuals). You will probably have to file the tax return late, and again, look up whether Connecticut allows penalty fee waivers. Looks like it does. See here: http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?a=1433&q=423088&drsNav=|; the form to fill out for requesting penalty fee waivers: http://www.ct.gov/drs/lib/drs/forms/2010forms/penaltywaiver/formdrs-pw.pdf; more info: http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?A=1511&Q=461076. You should explain in your statements for the request for penalty fee waiver that your company advised you that you did not need to file a CT tax return because you are a RI resident, and that you relied on your company’s advice. Give the company name and HR department and even the name of the person you spoke with back then who told you don’t bother filign the CT tax return.Nonetheless, you’re doing the right thing by consulting a tax professional.

  5. @asquint – I had already downloaded all the forms, and am probably way too familiar with the CT state site, but the guy was just a complete ass. The $43.36 is a fee to RI for “loss of use.” And that’s fine, I will pay that if I have to. It’s the cost of eating out one night, I can go without. I have till Aug 10, and my appointment is on the 4th. I got a call from a super nice auditor yesterday who said “Just fill out the CT forms, submit them, and then fax/mail me copies and I will do all the adjustments here, and then will call you to let you know if you owe, if it breaks even, or if we owe you. You will not have to file the amended RI returns for 2008 and 2009, and don’t pay anything yet because if we owe you for 2009, your taxes weren’t late.”I’ve since had 3 employers since I was told not to, and the people that told me that aren’t even there anymore. The company went through super hard times. 

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