Instructed by the IRS


Yesterday, I called the Social Security Administration and the IRS.  Our taxes, it seems, did not pass muster.  Jonathon submitted our e-file several times, and each time it got rejected.  Something was wrong with my name or social security number.

If you recall, my purse got stolen back in September.  In my purse was my wallet containing (then) my social security card.  It was later recovered but we figured perhaps someone had tried to file under my name in a classic case of identity theft. No matter that it was a man using it…

I reached SSA and they said everything was fine on their end, after I passed their series of identity-confirming questions.  What’s your mother’s maiden name?  Where were you born?  What’s your sign?  They said the holdup had to do with the IRS.

I considered, briefly, if this would become a game of round robin.  “It’s not us, it’s the other guy!”  I hoped not to become a pawn in some government goof.

I sighed and brought up the IRS’ website.  This I did dread.  Why is it that even those of us who pay taxes and are law-abiding citizens feel like we’re direct dialing Mordor when we contact the IRS?  I guess maybe because we fear the all-seeing eye will become trained on us and request an audit.  After some holding, I reached the IRS and they informed me that probably my husband had inputted either my name or social in wrong.  I found this hard to believe, as we’ve been married forever, but swallowed my pride and hung up.

Last night, we looked at the return online together.  Everything looked good. My name, middle initial and last name were right.  My social security number was just as it should be.  Jonathon’s name and birth date looked good.  We resubmitted it and held our collective breath.

It bounced back, rejected again.  Grr!  Jonathon told me I had to call the IRS again; they liked me better.  He’d been on hold with them for 45 minutes when he called.  It was only 15 for me.

I was on hold for awhile again, riding the crest of aimless jazz and planning my coup, when I got transferred via a series of beeps.  Then I got Tchaikovsky.  Much better.  At least it was the Nutcracker Suite instead of the 1812 Overture.  Then, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  Soothing the masses, I see.  Now all I needed was some Beethoven to round it out.  It felt a little like the quizzes in Norm’s Music History class:  name that classical piece in 8 notes or less!

I reached a Miss Lacey.  She tested me again and put me on hold to do some research. Meanwhile, I imbibed more classical tunes.  At least they weren’t Muzak.

When she came back, she informed me that the error she saw was with Jonathon’s name or social security number, not mine.  She said, “You know, it’s easy to transpose numbers.  You can look and look at something and not see that it’s wrong.  Then someone else looks at it and sees the problem right away”, or words to that effect.  Right.  Not as easily persuaded, I asked if she could work things, somehow from her end.  She told me firmly that she could not.  What good are you anyway, lady?!  I thought to myself.

I tromped upstairs and booted up our return, grumbling about gremlins.  As I looked at the opening lines of the tax form, I noticed something.  Jonathon’s social security number was wrong.  He had, indeed, transposed 2 of the numbers.

I fixed it and resubmitted it, breathing a prayer.

You really can learn something new every day.  Even if you don’t want to.


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