Thursday, April 7, 2011

More fruitless ramblings

I had an epiphany the other day, about why people hate the IRS so much. Oh sure, you’re thinking – that’s kind of low-hanging fruit there Miss Tasha, now isn’t it? But hear me out. I truly think that most people would NOT hate the IRS quite as much as we all do if there were one important component to the system, which is clearly sadly lacking: equitability. Fairness. I think we’d pay our taxes and still grumble at all the waste and fraud, but there would also be an element of “okay this sucks, but we’re all in this together and it sucks equally for all of us.”

Except that’s not the case.

I see it this way – it’s like being in line at the amusement park. It’s hot, you’re waiting a long time, but there’s a feeling of general camaraderie. Until those bastards go whizzing past you in the fast-track line, that they’ve paid extra money to use. Suddenly, there’s a sense of, Proletariats of the World, Unite!

Because that’s bullshit. If

there should be equality anywhere, it should be at the amusement park, where you all suffer together, dammit, no matter your station in life. You want fast-track, go build your own Disney, okay, Mr. Moneybags? And that’s how it’s always been, until recently. Which is just not right.

So here we are, the poor schlubs paying our taxes, because we can’t afford expensive lawyers or accountants to figure out all the tax loopholes for us – and then we read about those asshole GE people, making their $16 BILLION in profits, yet not paying a penny in taxes. Or our politicians here in Illinois – who at the last election also revealed that they paid nothing. And the list goes on.

But of course, no one cares about us, which is why – as usual – I took my grievances to the local paper. Where they’ll be summarily ignored – also as usual. But hey, at least it made ME feel better. This is also for all of you, my little proletariat friends. One day, we too will rise up. I hope. Or move to Canada. That’s looking like a better and better option these days.

To the editor:

It was with no small amount of disgust that I read about GE – in spite of making $16 billion in profits – not paying a penny in federal income taxes. This, against the backdrop of my own audit by the IRS. Oh, but you’re probably thinking, as most people do, surely you must have done something to deserve an audit? Some tricky accounting that flagged your returns?

Come to think of it, yes. First, I’ve made the deadly mistake of being self-employed. Clearly, based on how many of us are chosen for audits, the IRS frowns on this kind of aberrant activity.

Then, I made the true mother of all mistakes: I got cancer. And a month later, while still training for Ironman while working on coming up with a treatment plan for my out-of-the-blue Stage 2 breast cancer, I was in a bad bike crash, and had bleeding on the brain and a broken collarbone as a result.

This of course meant that not only did any income come to an abrupt halt, as not only could I not type or work on a computer, but I was also in LaLa land as far as the brain injury was concerned. One would think that the IRS could subsequently put two and two together, and think hmm, little income, huge medical bills, this must somehow correlate.

One would think wrong.

So yes, now I’m being audited for 2008, 2009, and oh yes, they’ve decided to throw 2006 in there as well. Because they managed to lose my return for that year, so I had to recreate it – again, while dealing with these medical issues and being not quite all there mentally.

And what are the supposed red flags that the IRS wants to take a closer look at? My medical bills, of course – they’ve expressed shock and amazement that one’s medical expenses could actually be so high. My utilities. Yes, utilities. Do people really lie about their gas bills on their taxes?? Then of course my property taxes. Apparently no one from the IRS actually lives in the real world, or at least the real world as it exists in Chicago, where all of these things are ridiculously high.

The end result is that now, as I’m trying to cobble together some semblance of a post-cancer life, and am looking for work (anyone want to hire a self-employed marketing and communications expert?), trying to figure out how to pay my bills, etc., I’m also being forced to dig through literally hundreds of pieces of paper – all my medical bills, a legacy of not just treatment but epic battles with my recalcitrant insurance company – to find every last receipt and bill.

And as I’ve said to my friends, even if the IRS does find some issues with my return, you can’t get blood

from a turnip. But I suppose it’s easier for them to go after me and those of my ilk, rather than the GEs of the world, and the investment bankers. Those who can afford to lawyer up, who make the real money, they manage to avoid getting on the IRS’s radar. I am apparently a much easier target.

It was bad enough that my life was completely derailed by cancer; now the IRS has taken over that role. But hey, as long as GE and companies like it are in good stead, who cares about the little people? Let them eat cake, I say. It’s worked so well for all of us thus far.


Angied808 said...

you know i do a little happy "fingers crossed" dance every time you threaten to move to canada, right? :-)

tri like mary said...

I'm sorry about your IRS troubles - must say makes me even happier that I live in Canada. At least your dogs are cute!:-)

Laura from NY said...

The whole situation is ridiculous. I'm glad you're blogging about it. The IRS should be reading your blog.