The IRS and Me….

Since last December the IRS has been tormenting me about my federal income taxes for 2011 over my claiming the mortgage interest deduction for the house in Colorado. I spent a morning at H&R Block here in Florida, and more than five hours at the IRS office near Pompano Beach. I then had to gather necessary papers as documentation to prove that my taxes for 2011 had been in order without my having cheated the government out of anything.  I sent all my materials as certified mail in early January and received word much later that the packet had been received on March 12. It was a nightmare! Then last week I received another letter that said my case would be decided within the next sixty days. More time for me to experience anxiety, I suppose.

Yesterday I received an official letter at last from the IRS stating that the case was closed, because I had sent them all the required proof that my taxes were indeed in order and that I owed the government $0.00. I may have to frame their letter, because it represents to me a triumph over a vast and impersonal foe. To me it’s been from the beginning a David and Goliath story of good against evil. Honestly, I slept better last night than many nights since December when I first received the IRS accusation. I was also told that IRS computers are sometimes responsible for false red flags that go up over people’s taxes. I was warned in December that I should pay right away to avoid the monthly interest charges on what the IRS claimed I would owe from 2011. I knew I was right and paid nothing. Had I paid that money (around $1200 plus interest), I would now be waiting six weeks for a refund.

I feel the need to celebrate my triumph over this reviled institution only because it seems they are always going after the little guys like me, while corporations and billionaires get away with vast and corrupted deceptions that would make most of us gag in horror. Well, at least none of my friends will have to bake cakes with files in them or visit me in prison, smuggling in real coffee for me. I’m a good, tax-paying citizen, who now feels free again.

My advice to other tax payers is to keep good records and not to let the IRS intimidate you. Fight them tooth and nail when you know you’re in the right.   JB

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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