Government Inefficiency

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Most people who read my blog know that I typically write about positive things going on in the world rather than focusing on the negative, but I must get this story off my chest.

A few months back, my wife and I went through that nervous phase of pulling all our financial documents together before the April 15th tax deadline. Anyone who files their taxes in the United States knows this can be a time of great stress. Were we getting money back or paying more taxes?

Ideally, the goal should be to break close to even. Is there anything more discouraging than paying taxes all year long only to get another hefty tax bill when filing income tax forms? While getting huge refunds is exciting, that typically happens because we’ve overpaid our taxes the preceding year. It makes the most sense to keep those dollars during the year and make them work in solid investments.

As many others can probably relate, it’s a moment of suspense as your accountant reveals this year’s bottom line. “Ugh—we owe how much more???” Our accountant quickly tried to reassure us that while he understood our pain, we should feel comforted by the fact that our investments had done so well. Was he right? Yes. Did that make us feel better? Not particularly.

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My wife wrote the checks to the federal and state governments as the deadline neared. Whew! Done for another year, or so we thought. This week we received a letter from the IRS informing us that we had not paid our taxes and owed penalties—not a great feeling. The problem was we knew that we had paid. My wife, the chief billpayer in the family, deserves all the credit for her organization, good record keeping, and persistence. She showed me that they had cashed the check before the deadline.

Shouldn’t this be easy to clear up? One would think, but not so fast. The first point of frustration was trying to speak to an IRS representative so that we could straighten the mess out. Each phone call led to more frustration. We kept getting a message detailing that there weren’t enough people to handle the volume of calls. After two days of trying, my wife finally got through. She stayed on hold for a half hour before finally getting to speak to someone. The IRS agent put her on hold several times while he tried to track the payment down. Unable to do so after a long time, he directed us to get an official copy of the cashed check from our bank.

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After getting a copy of the check from the bank, we wrote the IRS as instructed. Debbie, my wife, took the letter to the post office. Not wanting to have any other problems, we attempted to send a registered letter. That’s when we learned that the IRS does not accept registered letters. Oh well, send it. After Debbie paid the postage, she wanted to purchase a couple of books of stamps since we were out. Sounds like a simple transaction, right? Wrong again!

I know it sounds absurd, but the post office was out of stamps—talk about irony! What? How does that happen? You’re the post office! Once again, the explanation left me scratching my head. One individual at the post office oversees ordering stamps, and he’s been out of the office for two weeks with Covid. Wait, you mean there’s no backup plan? Their only suggestion was to try the other post office branch in town. Of course, the same person orders their stamps too. Debbie bought two of the last books of stamps they had.

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While I know that the post office is a frequent target of consumer complaints, I typically defend them. Sending documents electronically in a matter of seconds is great; however, I also think it’s remarkable to send a letter across the country for 58 cents in a matter of days, especially considering the cost of gas.

We think this will all get ironed out eventually, but what a lot of unnecessary stress and inefficiency. When has the bureaucracy of government frustrated you?

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118 thoughts on “Government Inefficiency

  1. A similar thing happened to me with the IRS two years ago!

    We’re from the government, and we’re to help you . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 3:43 pm

      Uh, thanks but no thanks. Somehow I’ve bungled my way through life this far. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Right now, Biden is beating up the oil companies demanding more production. Guess what? When he first got into office, his executive orders eliminated the sources of new oil. Current production is tapped out, and we went from an independent oil exporting nation to now begging our enemies for oil. The American public is too smart to fall for this scapegoating. (I hope)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 3:57 pm

      I thought we had it bad at close to $7.00 per gallon, but one of my Canadian friends told me he’s paying the equivalent of $10.00 per gallon. I may have to consider electric, but I know some people believe that the cost of electricity will go up exponentially if the demand increases.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And EVs are so expensive too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so very sorry to hear of your tax issue! YIKES! It seems that taxes have been an issue all through the centuries. You know I love quotes so I’ve added this one from Lao Tzu, “The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 5:39 pm

      Our problems are minuscule compared to others. I have no problem paying my fair share of taxes, but wouldn’t we all be happier knowing the money is going for worthwhile things? Great quote!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was listening to a talk show and an enraged caller said he wanted to go green so he bought a used Tesla. A week after he bought the Tesla, he had to purchase a new battery for it. It cost $15,000. He then had to pay a disposal fee of $8,000 for the old battery because it’s so toxic!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 5:42 pm

      Every solution seems to lead to new problems. I have a couple of friends who own Teslas, and they’re happy with them. I have a hybrid and a pickup truck. I love my truck, but I’m using the hybrid way more often now.

      Like

  5. Government inefficiency drives me nuts. About five years ago I was sent an application for Old Age Security, which is part of the government pension plan. I knew that you couldn’t collect until you were 65 and I was only 60 but I filled it in thinking that possibly they were being proactive and would keep it on record. Nope, they replied rejecting my application that and stating that I wasn’t eligible. Still don’t know why they sent it. Hopefully I will be able to reapply this December when I turn 65.
    As far as taxes go, we pay them online through our bank after we submit our returns online to the CRA. Canada’s version of the IRS. The bank provides a confirmation number for the transaction.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 5:47 pm

      We typically have no issues, but our finances have gotten trickier since we now have a rental. The first tenants were unreliable, but we’ve got someone dependable now.

      Are you happy with the Canadian health system?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy because it is mostly free, our taxes are high but I am ok with that trade off. Wait times can be long and equipment would probably not match that of the profit-model hospitals in the states. Second opinions are hard to come by. I am lucky to be very healthy these days. The system is quite overburdened these days. Covid really threw a monkey wrench into an already strained situation. Unfortunately the solution is more money which comes from the provincial government who are voted in and therefore try to choose what spending will purchase the most votes. It has been like this since I was a kid.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You can apply for OAS about 6 month before you turn 65, so now is the time to do it!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Our PO was also out of stamps. Makes one wonder… Are these the people I trust with health care?

    I did have a problem with taxes and the IRS back in my 30’s. They refused to discuss it until I paid what THEY said I owed. Then, I got to hire an attorney. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 11:03 pm

      Excellent point! I can live without stamps, but not health care.

      That must have been frustrating. Hire someone (for a fee) to get the government to pay what you should have been receiving all along.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They did finally return my money, which I gave to the attorney. It was the principle, wasn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Any inefficiency infuriates me, but the post office running out of stamps? I hope you get it all sorted out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 7:13 pm

      The explanation was crazy too. If one person is ill, the whole thing shuts down? I’m pretty sure it will all get sorted out, but it’s irritating to waste this amount of time and energy over someone else’s mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Paperwork can be a thorn among the roses of life. Hope it works out in your favor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 7:17 pm

      I’m pretty sure it will because there is a record of the transaction. Where things went south after that is anyone’s guess?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ThAt was a lot of frustration! Covid seems to have become the standard excuse for bad services.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 7:19 pm

      I obviously have sympathy for anyone with Covid, but to think no one can order stamps because one person is sick makes no sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Crazy, isn’t it? Almost everything about our government annoys me…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 7:21 pm

      I just want to see the government trying to create a fair system of justice and not making our lives more difficult. Forget political parties and look out for your citizens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be great, if only…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The complexity of the tax code gets me. It is ridiculous that people need accountants and detailed records to figure out what tax liability they have.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 11:07 pm

      I used to do our taxes for many years until our financial things started to get more complicated. Accountants have to go to training every year to stay up on everything. So many tax laws create loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.

      Like

  12. Ah, the Social Security Administration is my personal nemesis. Every year for the last four years they have sent me a letter saying they have been overpaying me (I’m sure they are not) and demanding money — tice several hundred dollars, twice a few thousand! This year I am fighting hard. I hope they find a new whipping boy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 11:09 pm

      Give ’em hell, Rosi! Sometimes I wonder if the strategy is to wear us down until we cave in. I tend to go the other way and get more stubborn.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ridiculous inefficiency on the part of the IRS. I would hope that it couldn’t happen here, but I guess you never know. As for the Post Office, I guess that’s what happens when the President doesn’t remove the moron put in charge by the former guy, whose remit appeared to be to destroy the service!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 7:53 am

      It takes an act of Congress to speak to someone on the phone these days. There’s nothing like going through several prompts to finally hear, “All representatives are busy with other customers right now. Call back later.” It’s pretty bad when you’re excited to be put on hold. We just go through our daily activities with the phone on speaker while the inevitable wait happens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That happens here too. It used to be excused by the pandemic, shortage of staff in offices, but I think companies prefer not to talk to us and government departments are even worse!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. My daughter went around in circles over an IRS issues with her tax return this year and lost the battle. I too, decades ago, had an ordeal with the IRS – which I lost. I do wonder if anyone wins with the IRs. Sorry you had troube. The IRS has too much power and needs to be knocked off their loafty ladder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 7:57 am

      I don’t think we cashed your check but have no record of it isn’t much of a case. I don’t see our situation as winning or losing. I just went through a long battle with our dental insurance for a broken crown that they didn’t want to pay for. It was a prolonged fight, but they finally caved in.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. for the last 10 years i’ve been going to a woman who does my taxes and tells me what kind of things to do for the next year that may be more financially advantageous. once the irs receives my return i get a notice that it’s received so i have their record. it’s such a crazy system, that i make/keep more money paying someone to do my taxes than i do by completing them myself. every year she learns about the updates and changes and it offers me the best advantage. sad that we have to have a strategy in order to receive what is due to us in the first place. as for the post office, i’ve had a vintage book i ordered lost in the central post office in detroit (shown received by them) since early february and my local post office said they can’t do anything about it until they receive it. what?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 8:08 am

      That’s terrible. That would be like a waiter saying, “I put your order in with the cook, but he must have lost it. I’m afraid there’s nothing else I can do until he finds it.”

      The air conditioner in my car has blown hot air a couple of times in the past months. I brought in my vehicle to get it checked out before a trip into the heat. They ran a test ($400) and told me “it falls within our standards.” It was another head-scratching moment. What kind of standard is that? My standard is I expect something to actually work.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. So typical, unfortunately. We just got dunned for a bill we were told hadn’t been paid. We had mailed it. IT showed up, returned, in our mail the next day, for no apparent reason.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 8:12 am

      As more things become automated, it becomes increasingly difficult to speak to someone. If we want to schedule someone to come out to work on our cable company, I can’t just call my local office or go down there to set up an appointment. You must call the national number and sit on hold forever trying to talk to somebody. That kind of thing drives me nuts.

      Like

  17. Hi Pete, I feel your pain and I am sorry for your frustration. I am not going to get into the state of government services other than to tell you that the Christmas of 2018, our Christmas cards arrived in June. We don’t use our postal service any more. If fact, Amazon will not deliver parcels to South Africa via the postal service as they go missing in action.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 8:42 am

      When we order something online, the supplier usually chooses the carrier. We often don’t know how it will come to us until they issue a tracking number. I think most consumers don’t care as long as it gets there in a reasonable time. That’s interesting about Amazon because I think they sometimes use the postal service here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Pete, I am sure your postal system isn’t one where nearly everything gets stolen and where it takes 4 to 6 months to delivery any surviving parcels.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Everything about our so-called government (or lack of) is frustrating to me. I pulled into a large big-name convenience store the other day to gas up. As I filled up my tank, I noticed people walking up to the doors, then getting in their cars and leaving. Curious, once I had my tank full, I pulled up to the front of the store to see a sign that read, “Closed due to no staff.” What?? This is a CRAZY world. Thanks for sharing, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 8:48 am

      I know that while I was still teaching, there was a shortage of substitute teachers. That led to occasions when people came to work when they were sick. Staffing shortages seem to happen much more frequently. I know some of that can be blamed on Covid, but it’s amazing how certain industries literally shut down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was something I’d never seen before for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Well, I’m sorry this happened to you. Using snail mail is great when it works. We’ve had experiences with the IRS that required our CPA to fix, things like being audited, then being told that we were in the clear, sorry about that. I have zero expectations anymore about just about anything, your story is a case in point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 12:08 pm

      It’s not a good feeling when the people who are supposed to be the experts with money have to be sent a record of our payment to them. It doesn’t actually inspire confidence. Someone in the know told me the IRS, like most government entities, is completely overwhelmed and way behind schedule this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Pete. I am surprised that the IRS is talking to you about your CY2021 taxes. They should be working to finish analyzing the CY2019 taxes at this time and will start on the CY2020 taxes soon. The IRS normally waits until all of the commercial financial documents have been posted (about a year in arrears) to start to calculate their bad boy/girl list. Maybe the democrats at the IRS know something about you that we don’t. eh As for the Post Office, I would say that it is a local post office leadership issue. Everyone is going to take a vacation or be sick at some point. Leadership needs to have a plan to deal the events at hand to provide a service to their customers. There should not be a single point of failure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 12:15 pm

      I also thought it was a local Post Office problem, but I found it interesting that a couple of other people who don’t live here have run into the same issue. I can’t imagine this problem has never arisen at the local level. I generally have been happy with the Post Office. The amount of mail transported in one day is massive, and I can only recall a couple of occasions when something got lost.

      Like

  21. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with you, Pete. You’re right, anything to do with the government is stressful and to be avoided if possible. I’ve had a couple run ins lately that left me scratching my head, as well.
    In early 2020, Revenue Canada offered Canadians who lost work because of Covid a program where they could receive $500 a week, starting with a $2000 payment, until they were reinstated in their jobs. We had just come off a year-long strike when this happened to us. DH had been back to work for just two short weeks when the mill closed for Covid. I immediately applied for CERB and received the first payment and the following $500 before he went back to work, and I canceled the program.
    Two years later, we receive a notification from CRA that it was determined we weren’t eligible for the $2000 payment THEY sent! We had to pay it back within a month or contact them to make payments. They sent thousands of those cheques out. I have no idea how people are going to pay it back when we’re teetering on the edge of a recession, it’s very frustrating.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is frustrating, Jacquie! I don’t know why the government always wins, no matter what.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You can’t beat them. When I had my restaurant, they hounded me for GST payments so much I ended up overpaying them, but never did see any of it back.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s it, Jacquie! When they want your money, they want it yesterday. When they owe you money, it takes forever to get it or they conveniently forget about it. That’s why the tax guy advice underpay taxes. But it’s frustration in your situation.
        I remember the GST. It says we’ll get reimbursed, but it has to be over $100 (?) for a single purchase, not combined.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. In other words, don’t count on reimbursement, lol.

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      4. Isn’t it sad that we can’t trust the government?

        Liked by 2 people

    2. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 10:24 pm

      What a major screw-up on their part! I wonder how they decided you weren’t eligible. The fact that they went back after that length of time seems bizarre too. As you said, some people are barely getting by, and then taking that money back seems cruel. I’m sure someone is suing them over the whole fiasco. How are we supposed to trust the government when things like that happen?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. If they didn’t mean for everyone to get that money, why send it out?

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Don’t get me started on Government Inefficiency here in Spain. It is unreal. Mind you, I am currently dealing with an issue with Canada Revenue Agency which makes me think it is universal! I hope you get things sorted out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 3:53 pm

      The common thread for most of us is that this problem exists worldwide. When the laws are so convoluted that the citizens can’t understand them, it’s not a good situation. Laws are supposed to improve our lives and make us safer.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. So sorry to read tis, Pete. Frustrating, hair-pulling moments. This constantly happens to us. By the government, by companies, by PayPal, by banks, by about anyone we need to count on for resolutions. Blame Covid. That’s what seems to be the biggest excuse. I think we should move on from that and blame the employees who don’t do their job or the employers who don’t hire enough or qualified employees.

    The catch 22s is what get me, too. I can’t access my PayPal account, because there is an issue regarding the necessary code not being able to be sent to me in order to access my account. I also can’t contact PayPal, except by phone and being on hold for thirty minutes each time, because I need to access my account to be able to email or chat with anyone.

    Wait until you need to change your healthcare plan… That has been the most ridiculous, time-consuming, and frustrating experience (weeks) ever. Or when there’s an issue with the credit card and you’re in the middle of nowhere, time zones apart. Or when we were accused of something similar to your current story and it took a lot of time, energy, stress, worries, delayed travels, and even a hearing to get it resolved!!! And, like you two, we are people who abide by the law and are honest people… Yeah. Don’t get me started. Well, I guess you already did. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 4:46 pm

      I can see how crazy this must make you get, particularly when the method of contacting someone to resolve the situation is impossible or impractical. What I find most frustrating is not being able to talk to a human when I know issues can be concluded quickly by having a simple conversation. I understand many situations can be resolved by automated means, but there are plenty of times they can’t. I want to skip steps 1-25 and go directly to step 26.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. Such a waste of time. And yelling “zero” into the phone does not seem to do it anymore to get hold of an actual human being.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Sorry to hear about your IRS situation! It makes me angry! They cashed the check and said you didn’t pay on time and charged your penalty?? All the years we had the CPA did our taxes because my husband had a business and I had an afterschool tutoring business. He discontinued his business, and so did I. For mine, I had to pay for the City license fee and the worker’s comp for two years when there was no school. I decided to close it.
    This was our first year doing 2021 taxes by ourselves. We used Turbo Tax online service. We entered my checking account routing number to pay directly. It was clear right away. For the CA state tax, I got a refund with the direct deposit to my checking account. I don’t trust too much of the post office.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 10:31 pm

      I’d be worried if there wasn’t a record of the transaction, but it’s more aggravating than anything. The fact that we have to jump through these hoops because of their error is wrong. I used to do our taxes for years, but when our finances got more complicated, we had to hire an accountant.

      Like

  25. I feel your pain, Pete. I do my own taxes, and usually all goes well on the federal level, except I’ve noticed that the new (since 2017) tax forms are specifically designed to hide opportunities for ordinary citizens to pay less taxes, and to me, that feels really devious. Grrrr. State taxes? Oregon makes them as complicated as they possibly can. I still do my own taxes, but they’re wrong Every Single Year. Sigh. My act of civil disobedience is to continue doing them myself and getting them wrong. 😀 😀 Ooooh, that was fun to rant. Thanks, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 18, 2022 — 8:49 am

      I’m good at math and numbers. I used to enjoy doing my taxes until our finances got more complicated, and I wasn’t sure about all the tax laws. The other tricky part is that the tax laws are constantly changing. If that’s not challenging enough, every state creates its own method of collecting taxes. Many Californians will buy big-ticket items in Oregon since there is no sales tax. Of course, Oregon generates tax money by having one of the nation’s highest rates on personal income.

      You are a person of many talents, Diana. I don’t know too many people who still do their own taxes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a matter of principal that I do my own taxes, Pete. I don’t think it should be so complicated. To me, that feels sneaky. And yeah, no sales tax is great, but they do have to come up with the revenue some how. And our method is highly progressive, so I don’t complain (except at tax time! Lol)

        Liked by 1 person

  26. How frustrating for you, Pete compounded by “no stamps”…I do hope it gets sorted soon …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 18, 2022 — 2:36 pm

      I can’t help laughing at the irony of no stamps at the post office. What’s next? No airplanes at the airport? No groceries at the grocery store? No drugs at the drugstore? Now that I think about it, all three of those things have happened to some degree in the Covid era.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They most certainly have, Pete and I fear with more to come…

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh, no! Bureaucracy at work. How frustrating and unnecessarily stressful. Yes, it should be sorted out, but at your mental and emotional expense. I must say that we do TurboTax and mail hard copies. Electronic tax filing is not part of our comfort level. Most recently I had to renew my driver’s license. What they demand is proof of both residency and identity. No problem, right? Wrong. I showed up with everything under the sun, including my social security card. My residency proof could not include my P.O. Box, it had to be my physical address on a utility bill. My original birth certificate didn’t have the date it was recorded. On and on. So, back to the drawing board with major stress. Thank goodness one utility bill was in my name! One! I had to get the courthouse in WV to find copies of both my birth certificate and marriage certificate. They didn’t have them…😳 I finally had to contact the capitol courthouse and start a lengthy process. In the end, I was able to renew my driver’s license, but I felt guilty until proven innocent. I asked the person at the RMV, “What about people who have been divorced, or their spouse has died?” He said, “It is a nightmare.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 19, 2022 — 4:02 pm

      That sounds awful, Jennie. It’s amazing how we can turn something that should be straightforward into a maze of obstacles.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it was, and yes it is. Our grandparents would be shocked.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Pete! I’m so sorry this happened to you guys and I really hope that everything gets straightened out. My husband was a soldier so honestly… everything about the government frustrates me LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 20, 2022 — 8:59 am

      I’m not worried, but it’s a bit unsettling when you know that you’ve paid, yet you have to jump through more hoops to prove that you have. I don’t mind paying taxes as long as our tax dollars are put to good use.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more! Keep us posted and let us know if it gets resolved. It’s annoying that’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Pretty apt title Pete, government inefficiency at its best. What a pain in the ass. I had my share of tax nonsense last week. I submitted and had to finish off my husband’s tax affairs only to find out my accountant who is suffering long covid had to pass them on to a colleague who forgot to do them. I think I aged years in a week. Finally, she got involved and gave her colleague a what for and they are done. And for my grief? No charge! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 20, 2022 — 9:44 pm

      Sorry to hear about your situation, Debby. I’ll bet you would have happily paid without all of the unnecessary stress. It’s always a relief when the taxes are done, except for this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You said it Pete. A crazy year for many. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  30. I so relate with your frustration. I really don’t understand why paying income tax isn’t easier across the world. Last year I had a hefty return to get back (because I quit my corporate job and am not drawing a salary from my small business and my old company had paid a lot of income tax from my side). It took months to get back! They kept making some or the other non-issue to delay the repayment. And since everything is online here, I could only keep raising tickets. Argh.
    Since everything is mostly online it has made getting help when you’re stuck so much harder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 21, 2022 — 9:36 am

      I can’t tell you how relieved I am when I finally get to speak to a person on the phone rather than having to answer automated questions that have nothing to do with my actual problems. Please, please, please, connect me to customer service.😊

      Like

  31. It’s terribly frustrating to try and call the tax office here in the UK. They leave you hanging on and on and eventually I put the phone down and didn’t contact them at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 21, 2022 — 9:37 am

      The worst is staying on the line, sometimes for more than an hour, only to get disconnected and realize you need to start over. NOOOOO! Anything but that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, and I have done this a few times before giving up. I don’t phone them anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Oh my God the hurdles you and your wife had to go through just to prove your innocence!!! That’s insane! I too have been dealing with a VERY frustrating situation… I have been communicating (unsuccessfully) with a hotel that’s overcharged me 4x on my credit card… each time I complained (about the first 2 erroneous charges), they didn’t return my email and then turned around and charged me again, making it 3 times, then complaint then 4th charge… I was afraid of complaining again lest I got charged a 5th TIME! It was and still is nuts because I am still dealing with it. The only HELPFUL person I’ve been able to get on my side is also frustrated and trying to rectify it but a lot of it is out of her hands (managers need to approve reversals etc)… but today on the phone with her I just about lost it (not at her but at the situation) and I started spiraling and comically (now ( can see it as that), she started to calm me down LOL “okay, it’s okay let’s get ourselves together here now!” LOL oyyyyyyy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 21, 2022 — 9:00 pm

      These things have a way of spiraling out of control. As many of my friends have lamented, they have no trouble taking your money, it’s the giving back when something goes south that seems to be a problem.

      It’s the first time we’ve gotten a letter of this type from the IRS. I’m pretty sure it will work itself out, but as I’m sure you’ve already said multiple times in your situation, “Why am I spending all this ******* time trying to rectify someone else’s mistake?”

      On a more positive front, our son and his fiancee were home for a week. They get married next June. That was a good time. We’ll meet some of her family over Thanksgiving in Colorado. I’ll send you a couple of their engagement photos so that you know what it feels like to have a child getting married. (Give Charlotte another 20 years or so.) 🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Stress is the word, Pete – incredible stress, which you don’t deserve and there is no excuse for it. I hope you get this sorted out soon. Toni x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 22, 2022 — 8:50 am

      I feel for the people on the other end who have nothing to do with it and have to figure out where something went amiss.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. In all the years that I worked, the government had no problem removing immediately what they felt was their due for all my hard work and to contribute to public services intended to make our lives easier and ‘less stressful’. These days instead of one hand in your pocket at all times, they seem to have hands in any pockets they can find. I was self-employed for the last ten years of official working and dreaded the annual accounting even though I kept everything up to date. I hope that your missing payment is located and that worry put to rest..xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 22, 2022 — 8:57 am

      One of the nightmares of being self-employed is all of the record-keeping that goes into it. Being your own boss is great until tax time.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Oh boy, Pete. That can be so frustrating. I hope you got it all worked out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 22, 2022 — 8:59 am

      I don’t like wasting time spinning my wheels. It would be different if I felt we’d created this situation ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. It’s no fun spinning wheels.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. ACK!! It’s still early morning here, and my blood pressure has risen, reading your post. A C K. Talk about a feeling of powerlessness. There must be a better way to get our taxes reviewed, meshed, paid. My guy and I are like you and your wife. Instead of paying ahead of time, we try to invest the money that would be sent to the IRS quarterly. Until recently, this made sense (not sure about now, with the way the stock market is, but that’s another story). So yes, we get stressed waiting for the final “what you owe” from our tax accountant. And first we spend days putting together all of our info for that tax accountant. Sending the check to the Feds and State is not fun. But when I do so, I chant, “this is what keeps our country humming and helping and running a democracy.” I still believe it and I want to see our money well used.
    As far as the PO, I pick and choose the one I go to. The one closest to us is horribly managed, so I drive an extra 15 minutes to a wonderful PO with helpful smiling happy staff!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 22, 2022 — 9:10 am

      I bet you’ve learned to ride out the wave like we do when the market takes a downturn. It’s tough to watch in the short term, but over time the money always seems to come back.

      Like you, our post office has more than one branch nearby. Driving a little further to deal with pleasant and efficient people is worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Wow, and here I thought that my country had inefficient government services. Didn’t expect it to sound almost the same on your side of the world. What’s worse is that they’re the ones asking the public to do things, but they make it as hard as possible for no apparent reason. I can only imagine your frustration.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 22, 2022 — 7:47 pm

      Our system typically involves getting on the phone for inordinate amounts of time while trying to find an actual person to talk to. Then, when they try to connect you to the proper person, you get disconnected. They also like to tell you the phone calls are being recorded. Apparently, they want to hear us cursing under our breath. 😊

      Like

  38. Oh gosh!! Crazy for sure! And how frustrating for you and your wife with the IRS!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 26, 2022 — 7:57 pm

      We’re still trying to get to the bottom of it. As usual, there are no quick answers when it comes to the government.

      Like

      1. Unfortunately the government only knows one speed and its not being speedy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 27, 2022 — 8:10 am

        I like that line. 🤣 Somehow I don’t think they’d find it as humorous as you and I.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, best not to repeat that to them. I don’t think it would help your case. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Oh my, the frustration and all the extra work for you both! Then for a post office to run out of stamps – unreal! Although not a government-related moan, it once took me 135 repeat phone calls to get through to our doctor’s surgery – you have to call 8.30 am for any chance of an appointment / call that day – when obviously everyone else is doing the same!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 28, 2022 — 8:21 am

      I had a doctor’s appointment over ZOOM during Covid. The doctor wanted me to show him where the pain in my back was. Can you imagine holding your laptop behind you, trying to point to the spot, wondering what he is actually seeing?

      135 repeat calls have to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.🤣 I admire your persistence.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. I have been thinking quite a bit about bureaucratic nightmares the last few years while we have navigated through probate of my Mom’s estate and pursued benefits for our 18 year old grandson with special needs. It seems beyond belief. But I guess if I accept that I make stupid mistakes, an algorithm must exist that multiplies the effect of individual mistakes in some sort of geometric progression as all the people in bureaucracies join the equation. My constant disappointment may be that I have expected the “experts” in government organizations and corporate entities to be smarter than me with all their specialized training and resources. But actually the complications of size and variables may inherently drive incompetence.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 29, 2022 — 6:49 pm

      I followed your math concepts, and I agree that problems can grow exponentially when hordes of people in government are following dysfunctional equations. I sure hope things work in your grandson’s situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. you’ve got a lot of company here, Pete – everyone frustrated — hard to imagine that the post office couldn’t at least print out some stamps…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2022 — 10:26 pm

      I try to get stressed out about most of it, but it’s never fun when the government says you owe more money. Then, when we try to straighten it out, we can’t get through or have to remain on hold for inordinate amounts of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. I still do my own taxes, but I never know when I start if I’ll be getting money back or owing it. While it may not be rational, I still am happy when I get a refund!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 8:26 pm

      It’s psychological warfare. What’s more discouraging than paying taxes all year and still owing more at tax time? When we get a check from the government, somehow we forget it’s just them returning our money.

      For the record, I’m not against paying taxes as long as the money gets used for purposes that benefit the country, state, or community.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am also a fan of taxes used wisely.

        Liked by 1 person

  43. Pete, we recently got enhanced drivers licenses. We had to. Ack home 5 times to get more info because the clerk never have us complete directions for complex forms. Took several days. Nincompoops!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 7, 2022 — 7:47 pm

      “Progress” is sometimes a four-letter word. It’s one thing when we make these choices on our own, but procedures change too often without any input from the rest of us.

      Liked by 1 person

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