Aw man, this could be really bad.
I’m talking Sing Sing. Or maybe Leavenworth. They might
reopen Alcatraz just for me. I don’t believe they’re going to let me off with
just a few nights in the Starkville City Jail.
I got a letter from the IRS.
The first page laid out the purported crime. The next six
outlined in great detail the scores of penalties if I didn’t comply (read send
in the money I had purposely and willfully withheld from them – like it was
their money to start with) by noon of the day BEFORE I received the letter!
The official Notice Name was CP14. I had never heard of it
or seen one in my whole life. But I’m pretty sure the P stood for penalty. It
informed me in the most formal way they had not received payment for my 2020
My stomach immediately tied itself in a knot. Sweat beads
magically appeared on my brow. My hands were not exactly shaking… but little
tremors begin tickling the outer extremity of each finger.
They had added, naturally, interest and assorted penalties
to the original amount they claimed I owed.
Al Capone leaped into my mind. Listen, he had thousands at
his beck and call. Most of them carried guns! The Chicago Police didn’t bring
him down for racketeering. Nor did the Feds get him for distributing illegal
alcohol. Although there’s a good chance he did both!
He was deemed untouchable; and quite possibly the most
powerful man in America in the 1930s. He absolutely ruled the roost… until the
IRS sent him to prison for income tax evasion.
Good golly America! I don’t have a chance…
There is one small fact in my IRS inquisition that seems to
be completely overlooked by the person in charge of the CP 14 notices. I sent
in my supposedly “owed” money way back on March 26. It is a tad baffling. I
figure the March date, by any account you measure by, was way before the April
15 deadline. Surely they can’t “come after me” for a snafu not of my making.
But who am I up beside Al Capone…
I have always paid. Every year. On time. Without (official)
complaint. I have done so for the past 50-plus years. Shouldn’t that count for
something? Don’t these people keep records? Where is my benefit of the doubt?
I’ve been charged, convicted, penalized and interest added!
The only thing that could have gone wrong was if the Postal
Service didn’t get the check to them. Oh my goodness, we don’t need two
government agencies involved.
I worked for the Post Office in McKenzie, Tennessee, in the
summer of 1965. I didn’t “man the front counter” or “put up” mail or anything
like that. Mostly I unloaded trucks, which meant hauling in those large heavy
canvas Domestic No. 3 Mail Bags.
Porter Dunlap, Hot Shot Lewis and Mr. Oscar Owen did most of
the mail filing. They knew everybody in town. And they were serious as a heart
attack about getting every single piece of mail to every single person or
entity to which it was supposed to go.
Experience here made me leery that the Post Office was at
fault. And that was confirmed upon the ninth reading of the aforementioned CP
14 Notice. I finally caught the following small print, “Our records show you
filed your 2020 Form 1040 with an amount owed.”
So they admit they got my 2020 Form 1040! The check for the
“amount owed” was in the same envelope. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was
thinking a five-year-old could tell there were two pieces of paper in any
envelope they happen to be tearing in to!
I called the IRS number listed on page three.
I won’t bore you with the 45-minute wait. You’ve been there.
I never got a real person. But eventually I got their final word on the phone
call. They, or it, or some talking machine informed me that all their “people”
were tied up with other customers and that I should call back tomorrow.
I called back tomorrow. And had the same 45-minute wait! And
had the same person, machine or “thing” tell me all their “people” were tied up
with other customers and to call back tomorrow…
Mindboggling. Scary. And seemingly without recourse. Cathy
is already planning a going away party.
If you can’t fight City Hall, what chance do you have
against the IRS!
My only regret now is that I didn’t go into bootlegging. I
might have earned enough money to fight this thing….
See You In 10 to 15,