My Big Fat Tax Debacle

So you know that saying, “Anything that can go wrong probably will?”  Well, it’s pessimistic as all get-out and not particularly cheerful, is it?  Unfortunately, it fits the bill in regards to our taxes from this year.  Believe me, I wish this were not the case.  I wish I could say filing our taxes this year was easy-peasy and over and done with.  Not so much.

The tragic backstory is that Wes and I were curious about whether getting our taxes done at H&R Block was costing us in the long run, so we followed the recommendation of a family member and had our taxes done by a large local accounting firm.  We submitted our tax stuff to them in mid-February, then heard nothing for a month.

I started calling (because if I’m going to a hoity-toity accounting firm, I want my freaking hand held.  I’ll fool around with food, and sometimes the puppy, but the IRS?  No thank you in a BIG way) and still heard nothing.  Finally, some assistant called us and asked us some questions the accountant was too busy to ask.  I emailed the answers back the same day and we hoped to hear back from them within the week.

No dice.

We didn’t hear back for another month, when we were a week before the tax filing deadline.  By then my hair was curly from impatience, Wes was sick to pieces of hearing how much I hated this accounting firm, and I was ready to march in there with a scythe and take care of the taxes by threat of maiming.  We signed our tax forms three days before the tax filing deadline, which is entirely too late for my comfort, especially since we provided them with our paperwork back in February!

The only comfort was that we found out we were getting a pretty decent tax refund (this may have been the only thing preventing us from refusing to pay the exceedingly high rate they charged for their shoddy services).  The assistant told us he would take a portion of the tax refund out to cover Wes’ estimated taxes for the first quarter of 2009 and then we’d get a check from the IRS for the rest.

We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and I finally got sick of waiting so I started poking around.  Through much rigorous investigation, we found out today that the stupid assistant told the government to take the whole effing refund as payment for estimated taxes.  He screwed up, and now we have to wait until next year to get our hands on our own freaking money.

What makes it worse?  This guy told me we needed to pay estimated taxes for the second quarter of 2009 (Seeing as he told the government to take our whole refund, a.k.a. four times as much as was necessary for estimated taxes, this was a majorly dumb thing to tell us), which means that this guy’s cost us many thousands of dollars in the course of just four months.  The government is now sitting on a huge chunk of our money, interest-free, and we won’t get any of it until next year.

The assistant had the temerity to email me and assure me this wouldn’t happen again next year.  I nearly exploded all over the office from the idiocy that would lead this guy to believe we’d ever come back .  What a jerk!

As you can see, everything that could go wrong with our taxes this year did, and Wes and I greatly mourn the loss of that refund.  The only thing for it, I’m afraid, is to just shake our heads and be glad we weren’t counting on that money to do something important (like pay for a vacation, or tuition, or bills).

The good news is that we’re getting one heck of a refund next year.  Remember, there’s always a good side if you squint and tilt your head to one side and let your eyes get all unfocused and fuzzy.

7 thoughts on “My Big Fat Tax Debacle

  1. Augh~! I’ll issue a primal scream at your idiotic tax preparer from this side of the country as well. Also, the moral of the story is that even being a local firm doesn’t always guarantee good service.

    Even the firm DH & I, and his family use (with a family business, it’s easier to keep everything with the same company) takes forever to get the personal returns out. But that’s also partly because they have to finish the business return before they have final numbers for the personal.

    Shakes fist at the IRS…

  2. I have never ever ever heard a good fuzzy story about a professional tax firm – I’m all about at-home software. I may not get such a big refund, but I get it quick, damnit. I think you are being quite calm, considering….

  3. -Blanche, Thank you! Yes, the moral of the story is that H&R Block does a fine job thankyouverymuch. Man, it would be frustrating to wait for the family business to get their taxes in order before you could get your own stuff. Business taxes take forever!

    -Belly Girl, Thank you, I’m trying really hard to be calm but the more I think about it the angrier I get. Still, there’s nothing I can do about it so meh. I’ve heard good things about the at-home tax prep software, we might give that a try next year…

  4. I’ll put in a good word for at home tax prep (specifically turbotax) as that’s what my dad used and then I used (on his computer) to do my taxes pre-DH. If you don’t have anything hinky going on, and have a couple of brain cells to rub together, you should be able to do just fine.

    Though, with the refund issue, it may be worth sticking with H&R Block for one more year until that gets straightened out. And if you haven’t sent in a strongly worded letter to the head of the company (and your family member?) regarding your frustration, disappointment, etc. with their employee, it may be worth pursuing…just a thought.

  5. -Blanche, I think Wes and I could probably scrounge for the brain cells necessary to make such a thing possible. Wes is totally going to be haranguing the company, we’re lobbying for a full refund of the money we were charged for the tax prep services, since they cost us so much money. We’ll see how it goes…

  6. Why did I always think you didn’t have a blog?
    Am excited to catch up on your stuff…someday…when I have free time… :)

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