Brains Not Included

Cracked Up, Whacked Out and Completely Out of Control

Where Have All the Americans Gone?

American Flag(Not for the faint of heart…)

There is so much to say that I don’t have a clue where to start.  Some of you may have been wondering where I disappeared to and trust me, I disappeared for what I thought was good reason.  After a little introspection I realize now that FEAR is never a good reason for anything.

Many may remember my post several months ago about my encounter with the IRS and how I ended up in a hospital bed after several days of threats and frustrating interactions with the customer (no)service department.  What you don’t know is that the threats were so vicious that I was truly afraid to continue posting my vociferous complaints about the direction of the country.

 Here’s a brief reminder of what happened…

I received mail at my office from the IRS.  The mail basically said that I owed back payroll taxes from 2005 in the sum of $5790 plus interest and penalties.  Now, I’ve always used payroll companies to prepare payroll and they do the taxes so I knew something was wrong.

I explained that there must be a mistake and the lady said that their records indicated the IRS were correct.  She said if I had paid then the state responsible for forwarding the collection would have notified them.  She said; “thus far, the State of California hasn’t sent us proof that you paid the proper tax.”

 …And that’s when it all started…

Me:  “Oh, well that’s where the mix up is, you see, I’m in Georgia not California.  If you check I’m sure you will see that the State of Georgia has reported and everything will be okay.”

 IRS:  “No sir, your business is registered in the State of California so they have to notify us.”

Me:  “Okay, I understand what you are saying but there must be some kind of mix up, the State of California can’t notify you about my payroll taxes because my business is located in Georgia.”

IRS:  “Sir, our records indicate that your business is registered in California and our investigation tells us that you owe the tax.  If you refuse to pay the tax then the IRS has the right to attach your business checking accounts.  Furthermore, we can also attach your personal accounts and even your home.  If you do not…..”  more threats.

 ….trying to stay calm, hold it together … this is all just a big misunderstanding …

Me:  “I understand.  There is no need to threaten; I’m just trying to clear things up.  Let me ask you this, why do you think my business is in California?”

IRS:  “Because that is where we show the registration in our system.”

Me:  “Do you think that someone could have made a mistake?  Maybe input some data wrong?”

IRS:  “No sir, we are the IRS and we don’t make mistakes.”

…. WHAT!?!  I thought I was going to blow a gasket, but I stayed cool….

Me:  “Okay, but we are all human.  So let’s do a little investigation.  Where do you show me opening my business?  In Georgia in 2002, correct?

IRS:  “Yes”

Me:  “Okay and from 2002 to 2004 and then from 2006 to present you show my business in Georgia as well … correct?

IRS:  “Yes”

Me:  “Don’t you think it’s possible that someone who input the data for my business mistook the GA for a CA when they were registering my company that year?  Heck, I’ve only been to California two times in my life.  That’s a total of about 10 days in 45 years of living.  Does the IRS believe that I really moved my company to California for a few days out 7 years of operation?  Do you see what I’m saying, there has to be some kind of data entry mistake, if you’ll just check your records….”

IRS:  “Sir, the IRS does not make mistakes but if you can prove that you paid the tax then we can start a new investigation.”

My Thought…. “hmmm, So I’m guilty until proven innocent…how very un-American…”

We have a few more minutes of conversation.  I’m so frustrated I read her the riot act about what a customer service agent’s job is.  She’s provided no service, no help of any kind.  I’m frustrated and I hang up the phone and go to work to prove my innocence … I feel like I’ve been tried and convicted without a jury and without a judge.  It’s crazy!

She did say that if I had other evidence that I wanted them to consider I could fax the info in and she gave me two fax numbers….

I hang up in frustration and vow to call back the next day with proof in hand.  I call the State of Georgia and within hours I get the proof faxed to me.  Georgia has a wonderful revenue office, highly professional, highly organized and the lady expressed her frustration that she has had a slew of recent calls because of this exact data entry problem.

The next day I attempted to fax my proof 15 times before giving up.  In the end it turns out you can’t fax anything in but this agent and the one that I spoke with the next day both gave me fax numbers.  Not sure if it was some cruel joke of if they really were that clueless!

So, I call the IRS Customer (no)Service department and get a different customer (no)service rep.  I explain the problem, I’m ready to fax my proof that I don’t owe.  Everything will be okay!  I just know it!

IRS agent answers, we exchange formalities.  After a few minutes of explanation about the previous day’s conversation he reads the notes.  He’s reading out loud in a muffled tone, but I can hear what he says.

IRS:  “Mr. Gross claims he doesn’t owe the tax.  He is an agitated right wing zealot who doesn’t believe in paying taxes.  He displayed right wing militant behavior …..”

Me:  “What?!  Is that what she wrote about me?”  I give a brief explanation of the problem and my conversation with the agent the previous day.

IRS:  “Mr. Gross, we have determined that you owe the tax”  then he starts right into the threats without any conversation at all… “If you do not pay with in the next 30 days the IRS has the right to take….”

 Crap, crap, crap!  Here we go again!

 Me:  “Sir, I have proof that I am right, if you will just listen, I can send you…”

I get interrupted…

IRS:  “Mr. Gross, your case has been investigated and no more proof is necessary.  The IRS does not make mistakes, you owe the money and if you do not pay then….” 

Okay, so you get the gist.  I’ve set this up like a real conversation so you can see the lunacy of it all.  I’ve shortened the conversations drastically.  Each call lasted almost two hours and they went back and forth.  It was a true nightmare of epic proportions.

Towards the end of the second phone call I was very frustrated and I felt tightness in my chest, my blood was racing and I felt a little faint.  Then the tell-tale signs of an oncoming heart attack.  Pain in the shoulder, tingling in the fingers, I was in agony.

I dropped the phone and shouted for aspirin!  I needed it fast, I needed it now!  I grabbed a handful shoved the pills in my mouth and chewed and then flew out the door.  I thought if I could just make it to my doctors office …  no more drama, I had had enough.  I didn’t want an ambulance at the office.  My goodness this was all crazy.

As luck would have it I saw a Georgia State Patrol car.  I almost pulled out into the intersection of a red light to get his attention.  He hit the blue lights and followed me into parking lot.  Another lucky break, an EMT was less than a block away on the same busy road. 

Less than a minute later I had nitro under my tongue.  My blood pressure was coming down, it was almost over ….

The Next Day – Unbelievable!

So I was in the hospital for observation.  Thankful that my ordeal was not a full blown heart attack, it was close but the aspirin and the fact that the paramedics were so close is probably what staved off a full blown episode.

So after 8 hours of observation they send me home.  The next day I get up and go to the office and there is a message on my phone.  It’s the IRS.  It’s the same guy I was talking to.  The message went like this:

“Mr. Gross, this is Mr. —— with the IRS.  It sounded looks like you were admitted to the hospital for a heart related episode I just wanted to call and remind you that this issue must still be cleared up.  When you get back you give me a call at 1-80….”

U N B E L I E V A B L E!

So there you have it.  No compassion, no hope you are feeling better, no help what so ever.  Just a “to bad for you buddy” and a “we’re still coming after you!”  So I guess it’s true that the only two things you have to do is die and pay taxes and the IRS customer (no)service department only cares about one of those things!  Making sure you pay taxes.

The Wrap Up

So let me wrap this up.  Trust me the story could go on and on but you’ve already spent enough time reading this rant.  In a nutshell I did finally find a knowledgeable person to help me.  It took me 2 more weeks and a dozen more phone calls but the situation is finally handled AND just as I had told them, I didn’t owe the money!

So why do go on a rant about the IRS in a blog titled Where Have All the Americans Gone?  It’s because my experience is not a solitary one and it’s the exact opposite of what our founders intended.  Everyday thousands of small business people just like me wade through mountains of IRS and Federal Regulatory paperwork. 

Every year we spend billions of dollars on paying people to help us navigate the bloated bureaucracies of our country JUST so we can pay our taxes and keep crap like this from happening. 

Then, just when I have thought that I have heard it all, seen it all, experienced it all, I see the media parade some numbskull around who is stating that they don’t mind having their taxes raised if it means they get health care!  The bozo doesn’t even realize that on his $38,000 per year salary he’s NOT paying any Federal Income Tax anyway!

Furthermore, I hear the mega-wealthy like Warren Buffett (a man whom I greatly admire) say the rich should do more and paying more taxes is ‘American.’  What?  Agreeing to pay more taxes and give more power to the government is the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard of! (remember, giving the government more control and more money is giving AWAY our freedom!)

Where have all the Americans gone?  The ones who threw the tea in the harbor, the ones who sacrificed everything to throw off the shackles of tyranny, where are they?  Where are the Americans who sacrificed to fight the tide of German aggression, not once but twice … and asked for nothing in return except for the freedom of the ones we helped save?

Where are the Americans that stood strong against communism, who shed blood in Korea, Vietnam and countless other conflicts?  Where are they, the ones that stared down the Soviet Union and demanded that they tear down the wall? 

What happened to the freedom loving people of our nation who would rather scratch out a living from the crusty earth than take a dime from the Federal Government because they realized that dime was taken from their neighbor at the point of a gun?  What ever happened to rugged American Individualism?

So my little experience with the IRS, the power broker and enforcer for our Imperial Federal Government has led me to the question.  Where have all the Americans gone?  Because when all the true Americans are gone there will be no more freedom on this earth.


Filed under: Rants!, , , , , , , ,

Blogging on the Road