I just got off the phone with the IRS.
A couple weeks ago we received a nice letter from them stating that the return we submitted last year didn't align with their records. They wanted to give me the opportunity to review the information and make any "amendments" necessary to my 2005 return in case there were errors.
How nice of them! I wonder if Texas oil billionaires get the same courtesy...
You see, last year I decided to do our taxes myself. We fired our accountant when they tried to charge us for two separate returns by filing my wife and I individually as "single," and when the state of New York asked why we didn't file with them the same week the state of Connecticut asked why we'd sent them a check. This looked like a job for TurboTax!
As it turns out, TurboTax is great for a single person who doesn't change jobs or have Cayman Island gambling winnings to worry about. At one point, while filling out the questionnaire, I believe it said, "Your return is too complicated for our software. Would you like to make shit up and hope for the best? If 'yes' then click 'continue.'"
We've got a new accountant now, and I sent him the notice and a copy of our taxes. I imagined him reading them, chuckling, and saying "what a retard" under his breath. But he's optimistic that we won't, in fact, have to pay $312,475 in back taxes, and since he's already uncovered some new deductions for us this year I'm hoping he'll figure something out. (Did you know you that if you're a business owner and you drive across the Brooklyn Bridge you can deduct a portion of the depreciation and maintenance of the bridge? Nice!)
I just hope that we don't get hit again with the "grab your ankles" tax targeted at wiping out the middle class so Haliburton executives can take government-funded helicopter rides to the country club without us complaining. Every time I think about it I recall Lewis Black's observation of our tax code: "You'd have been better off if your Congressman just came to your door and pissed on your foot."