Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Internal Revenue Surprise



I received a letter from the IRS today. Well, not a letter, more of a note, really. A brief lecture, something I could have received from my dad, regarding investments, investment advisers, and due diligence; i.e., the world is full of scams and scammers, don't be a chump.

And with the note, also like my dad, the IRS sent me a check. A very modest check -- Dad, again! Three dollars, if you must know. The only thing it lacks is spend this wisely in the memo line.

But unlike a check from my dad, I earned this one. Apparently, in my enthusiasm to celebrate the ides of April, I got all giddy and went overboard.

There's something sweet, touching, about a $3 check from the IRS, something almost personal. It conjures up an image of Gladys the bookkeeper in Sacramento, wearing butterfly glasses, a pencil stashed behind her ear and an ink smudge on her cheek, eating lunch at her desk as she scours each and every return. And the triumph she must have felt, that AHA! moment, when after running the numbers and double checking the tape, she found my error.

"If you think you got a $21 dividend from Charter, Missy," she mumbles, "then I'm the Duchess of Cambridge."

Gladys pulls out the company checkbook, and says to Paul the office boy, "Run downstairs and make sure the refund goes out in the morning mail. Something tells me our Ms Bugge could use this."

Maybe I'll just sit on the money for awhile and consider my options -- pay down the mortgage, for example, or invest in some radish seeds. Probably the latter; I like to watch my investments grow.

35 comments:

  1. *love this* I read it aloud to my husband, who said, "Nice." High praise, believe me ~

    ReplyDelete
  2. The best part about the radish seeds is that you can just harvest the greens - and then keep harvesting the greens for whoever might like radish greens but not the root. A very wise investment that is quite likely almost assuredly guaranteed to pay out dividends.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lottery ticket? the worst you'll be out is a row of radishes. Which Albert might walk on anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wish Gladys at the IRS loved me as much as she loves you. I have the feeling that any letter I get from her will be more to the effect of "Dear Marjie and husband, please send us more money. Much more. We are trillions in debt, and we know you want to pay your fair share." As if we hadn't already done so.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sharon, much appreciated. I happen to be a fan of the word "nice." Wrote an essay about it once -- it's somewhere in the dark archives.

    PJ, French Breakfast Radishes.

    Doris, I believe in luck, but shy clear of lottery tickets. Albert might chew them.

    Marjie, she hasn't friended me, so I don't think it's personal.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excellent piece, Karin! Yes, you have Gladys down, although she probably was a contemporary of Melville. I received a letter from the IRS yesterday as well. They want $836 from my mom. They are wrong, but I can see what they are trying to do. Gladys has been working overtime and they need to make up for the money she's been sending out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If I send Gladys some toffee melts for her birthday, would that be considered a nice gesture or a bribe?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your work, as usual. You inspire me to write about the push-pull I had with the state some years back. They kept trying to get me to pay my city taxes. We don't pay city taxes in California, but try telling California that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm looking for the "like" button on all these comments ~

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great piece!
    And wise to invest in seeds....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Come on, Petrea. Pay your city taxes and get it over with.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I probably owe a lot. This goes back a ways. Maybe I could send them some seeds?

    ReplyDelete
  13. When you get to the final line of the return, add a PS. As in "P.S.: give of take $5." Then pay the extra five. That's how you get on Gladys's good side.

    ReplyDelete
  14. $3, huh? Probably cost more than that to write the check - but Gladys doesn't mind, she just wants to do the right thing. I'd spend the money on sunflower seeds- you'll get more growth than with radishes. But have you considered a hedge fund?

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bellis, will $3 buy enough seeds for a hedge?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Decisions, decisions, Bellis.

    Mr. Earl, my money's on you. Theoretically speaking.

    Let's hear the rest of the story, P.

    Unknown, you may have a point.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I never cashed my jury duty check. Must have legal Lilly in fits

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's best to be on her good side!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. $3 won't buy enough seeds for a hedge, but it could go toward a hedge fund. Tada!! Groan.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like all of this one, again, but my favorite point, and maybe your biggest point, is, "There's something sweet, touching, about a $3 check from the IRS, something almost personal."

    The 300 million and 7 billion of us still long for that, as well as the presence of someone like Gladys.

    ReplyDelete
  23. First time visitor. Love this.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I got a rather nice refund unfortunately it went to H and R Block .

    ReplyDelete
  25. The seeds are a good idea. But why not something green, converting that green refund into a healthy green salad -- or pesto, better yet.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I must have unknowingly offended Gladys in my dealings with the IRS. Some years ago, she sent me a letter with an entirely different feel to it.

    I'd go for the radishes...

    ReplyDelete
  27. PA, ever the iconoclast.

    Chieftess & Pat, as some other comment noted, she likes toffees.

    Virginia, Henry and Ralph are no match for Gladys.

    Banjo, what ... what are you trying to say -- there is no Gladys?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I heard that the real Gladys married Santa Claus and moved up there.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think I can beat that. I received a tax rebate from the Inland Revenue (=IRS in the UK) of precisely £1. It came, inevitably, by post (er, in the mail), thus costing the Revenue in postage an additional 50% of the rebate they were generously bestowing on me.

    I did wonder if that 50p surcharge had been factored into the nice cost/benefit calculations involved. Could my rebate have been £1.50, for instance, had it been paid by bank transfer? Or will that 50 pence be collected from me surreptitiously in my income tax, perhaps amortised over the remainder of my working life in invisible and undeclared 2p annual surcharges?

    One can only wonder at the barminess of it all.

    ReplyDelete
  30. All Kind of Current Affairs, Latest Hot News updates, Classified Sites, Pakistani Classified Sites, USA Classifieds, Indian Classifieds, Entertainment Articles, Entertainment News, Entertainment Pictures, Bollywood, Hollywood and Lollywood Pictures and Videos, Entertainment Latest updates, Hot Entertainment News and Pictures Funny Entertainment Pictures, lol Pictures, Funny Pictures and Much More Fun Only on 1 Current Affairs Network
    hotcurrentaffairs.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Frame it!
    You probably never get another one.

    ReplyDelete
  32. blow it on half a glass, er, a quarter of a glass of vino!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I suppose in the UK our Gladys is your Beryl.

    ReplyDelete