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.
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.