Bayard & Holmes
~ Piper Bayard
The IRS came after me, and I’m smiling. Yes, smiling.
No, I don’t enjoy paying taxes. In fact, I’m appalled by the way the government misappropriates or flat out pilfers half of what it takes, and then our “leaders” refuse to balance the budget. . . . No, I’m smiling because the IRS came after me. Allow me to explain.
A while back, I went to my mailbox and found hate mail from the IRS. I felt ill when I saw the envelope. Not because I’ve been dishonest on my taxes, but because when it comes to the IRS, no news is ever good news.
Sure enough, I opened it, and it was a demand for thousands of dollars plus penalties and interest from two years ago.
WHAT??!! I immediately became 100% focused, something that usually only happens when I’m writing fiction, flirting with my husband, or writhing in the throes of childbirth.
Reading through the letter, I didn’t have the first flaming clue what they were talking about. Some transaction I didn’t remember involving an exchange I didn’t recognize and money I neither spent nor saved because it never existed.
I pulled out my records, and after much gnashing of teeth, rapid-fire consumption of gluten-free pretzels, and screaming of expletive deleteds that would make Spanish sailors blush, I found what they wanted, and why. And . . . here’s the smile part . . . I found they only had it half right.
There was definitely an error, but it was an error in MY favor.
Delighted, I immediately answered the IRS with a thank you note for pointing out my unclaimed tax return, and I attached the documentation to prove it. I seriously considered charging them penalties and interest for the free loan they enjoyed from me for the past couple of years, but if I could count, I never would have gone to law school. I deemed that little bit of gloating to be too time-consuming, so I passed.
The result? I haven’t seen any money yet, but this past Saturday, I did receive a single sentence note of apology added to the backside of a form letter. . . . Yes. I’ll bet they are sorry.
So what’s the moral of this story on this Tax Weekend? Be sure to take all of your deductions, and if the Boogie Tax Man comes knocking at your bank account, don’t freak. He just might be doing you a favor.
Do you have any Tax Day stories to share? I’d love to hear them.
All the best to all of you for a week of substantial returns.
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Piper Bayard is an author and a recovering attorney. Jay Holmes is a forty-year veteran of the military and intelligence communities. Together, Bayard & Holmes write espionage fiction and nonfiction. Their upcoming nonfiction release, SPYCRAFT: Essentials for Writers, covers everything from what the main intelligence agencies do and where they operate to honey pots, sleeper agents, enhanced interrogations, and more. Now on sale at Amazon!