A Comedy of Tax-Related Issues

I started working (lightly) on our taxes about a month before they were due, and began putting in serious time on them the week before they were due. I even took a vacation day to work on them.

Despite that, our federal return wasn’t completed until about 11am on the due date. So I e-filed then, and my husband and I took the check down to the post office later that afternoon.

At 9:30 that night I got an email saying, “The IRS has rejected your tax return.”

Uh, oops.

The notice said that there was a problem with one of the Social Security numbers. I could not possibly resolve that problem before midnight since the Social Security numbers were all correct, so I had to paper file the return instead.

And I noticed that I’d missed entering some interest.

And our printer was out of ink.

But after some scrambling and running around, I made it down to the special late-night drop-off post office in the area by 11:30 pm.

It was sort of a carnival-type atmosphere, with streams of cars handing over envelopes, a tent set up in a parking lot for those who needed to buy stamps, and Papa Johns giving out free slices of “procrustinantors” pizza.

So at least I got free pizza out of the deal.

But lesson learned: I’m really, REALLY not going to wait until the due date again to e-file again — for the sake of reduced stress, if nothing else.

The next day, some more research on the Turbo Tax site showed that I probably had 5 extra days to get things straightened out, so the near-midnight trip to the post office was unnecessary. It might have been nice if that notice had appeared on the error page telling you what to do.

Oh well, next year I will either have our taxes or an extension filed in advance, so that won’t be a problem.