pyesetz: (Default)
(Today I finally mailed out the revised tax forms to the IRS and CRA, only fourteen months after the IRS sent me their baseless accusations of tax impropriety.  Below is the beginning of the "Taxpayer's Statement" that I included among the eighteen pieces of paper in the mailing to the IRS.  CRA got only six pieces of paper.)

On July 28th of 2008, the IRS sent me a CP11 notice, denying my Earned Income Credit.  The only explanation offered was “Information on your tax return indicates that you don't qualify for this credit.”  To obtain more detail about the problem, I made calls to the (215) phone number shown on the notice, but was unable to get through to a human being within a reasonable amount of time.  I mailed requests for more detail to IRS post-­office boxes, but the only responses were form letters saying “You have not contacted us.”  I asked TaxAct.com to review the forms they had generated for me—they couldn't find any problem.  I asked H&R Block to amend the forms for me—they couldn't find anything to amend.

On June 15th of 2009, the IRS sent me a “Notice of Intent to Levy” which I did not receive until around July 12th.  Because of postal delays, it seemed there was no response I could make to the notice that wouldn't involve waiving some legal rights, so I sent my 2007 tax file to a law office for review.  The review determined that I had treated my 2007 Q4 income as taxed in the USA but by treaty it should be taxed in Canada.  As for the “information on your return” that indicated “you don't qualify for this credit”, maybe it was my Canadian mailing address?
pyesetz: (Default)
Still haven't mailed those tax forms—my accountant doesn't like IRS form 8833 and wants me to use form 2555 instead.  Still haven't got a website to show you—I have one now, but the hostname got screwed up due to the multiple "anti-fraud phone call" failures and still isn't quite worked out yet.  So here's a picture!

I should try that in my basement.  Like most older houses around here, mine has a stone+dirt floor that is always wet and so is covered with pallets (which then grow mildew).  Still don't have a sump pump because I haven't scraped together the $1000 to dig a sump and run a drainpipe out to the back-yard spillway.  I think the spillway is actually the concrete covering for the pipe that runs from the well into the basement (so the previous owners could have "running" water).  Maybe I can buy a pump when the IRS gives me that multi-kilobuck refund they've been sitting on for over a year.  Unless the sun goes nova first.
pyesetz: (Default)
My accountant can't read the copy I emailed her of my 2008 US return, so I wrote back with a word description of how it differs from the 2007 return that she was able to read.

Maybe tomorrow I can mail the suckers out!

Meanwhile, here is a Joke of the day:
Q. What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
A. For bird flu you need a tweetment but for swine flu you need an oinkment.  Yuk yuk yuk!
pyesetz: (Default)
I'm almost ready to talk about my 2007 tax nightmare (no, it still isn't resolved yet).  In the meantime, here are some strange words from Bill Harnsberger:

Barney Frank = New Bedford towel-snapping champ three years running.  Flicked a wart clean off a flea's ass from ten feet in a gale.  Blindfolded!


And here is Bill, channeling Bob Ross:

And we're almost done with our portrait of a teabagger rally on the mall.  We've done the Washington Monument, so tall and pointy.  And the capitol in the background, regal and grand.  Beautiful fall day.  Happy little clouds.  Perfect day for a rally...

Okay.  Next we'll take a dab of white, and reeeeal lightly—light like a feather, a little baby birdy feather—we'll just add in a tiny hint of froth around the corners of their mouths.  [dit dit dit dit dit dit]  There we go.  [dab dab dab]  Frothy frothy, like a vanilla milkshake.  Very nice.

And finally: we'll take the edge of our little trowel here and add a few protest signs.  Wouldn't be a protest rally without protest signs, would it?  Course not.  [skritch skreetch skritch skreetch]  Little signs. Some square, some rectangular.  Happy little signs.  They're just glad to be there, waving in the air under the sunshine.  And we'll just add a few little slogans on 'em, so people who look at our painting will know they're here protesting the federal deficit: "Obama equals Hitler", "Keep government out of my Medicare", "Beck/Palin 2012".  And maybe one more: "No Olgiharky, Morans"!  There we go.
pyesetz: (Default)
(Based on my recollections, financial records, and Kid#1's diary.)

Friday, August 1st

Called the IRS to try to find out WTF their problem is.  No luck.  After 15 minutes on hold, interrupted every minute by a recording that commanded me not to hang up, I hung up.  I figured that if they weren't going to answer quickly, they would probably prefer for me to stay on hold for an hour so I could "soften up".  I am not in the habit of paying international long-distance phone charges for the privilege of being abused—and I was calling a number that was specifically for persons living outside the States.  Although I could perhaps try again from a hotel room during my trip, I decided to leave the IRS paperwork at home, as if they had "just missed me" and their letter was waiting in my mailbox upon my return.  The IRS letter made no sense (later, my accountants - TaxAct.com - concurred that there was no obvious reason for the IRS to reject my deduction).  Because of cascading effects from the IRS to New Jersey's Dept. of Taxation, I currently have $9,000 less money to my name than I had expected to have at this time.  I'll probably have to borrow some more against the house to pay for the washer, dryer, and stove I bought from Home Depot on a "12 months no interest" plan.  (They're an American company, so they were able to extend credit to me based on my US credit rating.)

Saturday, August 2nd

Rented 3 DVD's from Blockbuster, to use in the DVD players in our hotel rooms.  Our home DVD player has been on the Fritz for some time; one of these days I'm supposed to take it apart, give it my "magic touch", and get it functioning again.  That probably won't work unless the underlying problem is that the laser's lens is dirty.  I bought this player back in 2001, because it was available at Boscov’s and there was a cheat code for it on a website.  Macrovision® and Region Coding are of no value to me, only to the media barons, so I wanted a player that would work for me (the owner) rather than for Hollywood (the bully).

Sunday, August 3rd

Got the Voyager's oil changed at Jiffy Lube.  Also they replaced the dead brake light, and all three windshield wipers, and replenished the washer fluid (it was so low that its idiot light was illuminated).  Of course, it would be much cheaper to do these things myself, but I never get around to it.  They reminded me that the transmission fluid was overdue for replacement, so I had them do a full transfusion.  They showed me the tranny magnet, which was covered in metal filings.  Apparently my vehicle was heading towards a high risk of transmission failure due to particulates in the fluid.  I was supposed to return in a week to have the transmission bolts retightened, but haven't gotten around to it yet.  Maybe this week.

Stopped by Wal*Mart to get a fresh bag of Walnut’s usual dog food, to make his kennel experience less upsetting.  Wal*Mart is not the cheapest store in Canada, perhaps because they are not getting quite as big a subsidy here as the US govt gives them—properly paid near-full-time workers of a major corporation should not need food stamps!

Monday, August 4th

The big day.  Dropped off the dog at the kennel in the next village.  Wifey had set a target time of 1 PM for beginning the drive, but her weeks(!) of preparation had gone so well that she was actually ready to leave several hours before that.  I was not.
      After [livejournal.com profile] deffox told me that US tax forms should be done before the Canadian ones for my first year, I put off the US forms until their deadline (June 15th for us nonresidents).  By then the Canadian forms were already six weeks overdue.  There is apparently no lateness penalty for paupers who don't owe any tax (my earnings last year were below the poverty line, although I am doing much better this year).  So I continued to put it off.  But the time for dawdling had now run out.
      Before my last trip to the States, in January, I had worried that there would be trouble because my car was still registered in New Jersey, so there was a last-minute scramble to get Ontario versions of licence, insurance, and registration.  At the border, they did indeed ask me why I had re-registered my car so recently, and confirmed that there would have been trouble had I attempted to re-enter Canada in a vehicle with foreign plates.
      This time, the worry was that they would ask me why my taxes were late.  I actually do not know whether Border Patrol has access to such information, but I thought it better to have copies of the completed forms with me to confirm my claim that "I mailed them before I left".  So I needed completed forms, preferably copies of ones that had actually been mailed.
      The forms were mostly complete, but I needed to print out the 60(!) pages from UFile.ca and determine which were actual forms to file and which were part of the "presentation package" designed to make UFile's fee seem more reasonable.  The actual forms needed to be printed a second time and then mailed in, which involved a walk to the local bakery/convenience store/greasy spoon/post office (with free wireless Internet!).

We got under weigh at 1:10 PM.  Spent $80 on gas.  We drove along the QEW, which avoids Downtown Hamilton by crossing over the southwest corner of Lake Ontario, on a bridge that looks (in Google Maps) to be about 6 km long!  That lake is so big, it might as well be an ocean.

Our pre-printed directions from Mapquest.com had us going over the Queenston-Lewiston bridge into New York, but electronic signs on the QEW informed us that said bridge had an hour's wait, so we used the Rainbow bridge for tourists in Niagara Falls.  Unlike last time, there were no attack dogs today, but there were vast quantities of armed officers standing around, pretending to look for trouble.  "Security Theatre" does not make me proud to be an American.

We returned to our pre-printed directions at the New York State Thruway, which runs parallel to the lake but 40 km to the south.  Like southwestern Ontario, much of this area of New York consists of mile after mile of farmland, dotted with occasional cities.  We arrived at our hotel in Utica in time for my family to use the pool, while I tried to get in some work hours for Company 𝔾.  We ate food that Wifey had prepared at home for us.  We were only halfway there.

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