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May 27, 2008


Scott Mitchell

I've had a few of these sorts of issues with the IRS over the years and have found them to be pretty good about being realistic and nice. One time they thought I hadn't declared some income, wrote me, and said, "Here's what you owe us (plus penalties and interest)." I wrote back and said, "No, no, no, I claimed this over on this other schedule, see?" It took a while, but they wrote back and said, "Oh. Our bad."

As you noted, they are a huge bureaucracy, so things are going to take a while to get done. But, in my experiences, they seem like a pretty decent huge bureaucracy in that they aren't stifled by too much red tape and there is at least a modicum of competency over there. (I have to deal with some state-run health agencies... ahem, MediCAL...) and I swear that the average IQ there must be in the low 70s.)

One interesting note: I once got one of those letters from the IRS and, lo and behold, it was my mistake. So I paid what I owed plus the penalty and interest. Wouldn't you know it - a week later I get a similar letter from the State of California. They were just writing to say that they heard from the IRS that I had some taxes I didn't pay and, guess what, I owed the state of CA, too! Joy.

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