Wednesday, August 08, 2007


They say children are priceless, but today I had an unexpected opportunity to identify just how much one of mine is worth.

Seems I committed a typographical error on my tax return, specifically when filling in Julia's social security number.

Today I got a notice from the IRS stating that the number did not correspond to their data, and that the individual in question therefore didn't qualify as a dependent on my return. They had graciously "corrected" my return; not by changing a 4 to a 1 to obtain her real SSN as reported on all prior returns, but by recalculating my taxes without claiming her as a dependent.

The difference between the refund I was requesting and the tax I would instead owe was $1498.

Valuable kid.

Fortunately, in addition to providing a handy voucher to include with my payment, they also included a handy phone number to use if I felt that I could provide information that would clear up the error.

So I called the number ($0.09/min), spent 25 minutes on hold (classical music on a pretty short loop, interrupted periodically by a grammatically incorrect apology for the delay), and was eventually assisted by a friendly individual who was happy to make the correction and recalculate my taxes, restoring my refund (minus a couple of dollars for some reason; I told her I could make my peace with that).

And I used the hold time to add the Official George W. Bush "Days Left In Office" Countdown Timer to my sidebar, so I'm thinking it's pretty much win/win at this point.


pidomon August 08, 2007 7:34 PM  

I'm thinking she is worth much more than that to you (as my nieces and nephews are to me)

amish451 August 08, 2007 7:41 PM  

This may be have a plus side. I had a similar problem years past when my life was bouncing forth and back as "head of household" accountant checked the wrong box using a previous year form. The IRS denied the claim but recanted when we revised the error ..IRS paid me the balance owed with interest..I know, difficult to believe but there it was.
Curious about your presence in CR and previously Turkey ...does this have any thing to do with perhaps sifting thru dirt at archaeological sites ?

Jennifer August 08, 2007 7:51 PM  

pido - Well that goes without saying of course :)

Also, I see I don't, in fact, have to post monkeys on Wednesday to get you here after all. Good to know ;)

amish - Fortunately, it seems to have been resolved with just the phone call. But it's nice to hear about a story with a happy ending once in a while!

The Reader's Digest version of how I ended up in Costa Rica is here. Turkey (and Greece) was an unforgettable 3-week trip this summer, but not an ongoing part of my life. Thanks for stopping by :)

pidomon August 08, 2007 8:41 PM  

I came to see monkeys Jen LOL
But the only Monkeys tonight are here

One day it will be a blog wide phenom (That's what I keep telling Diane!)
(plus these are VAMPIRE monkeys!)

Mary Alice August 09, 2007 5:47 AM  

Isn't it nice that we have modern technology that allows us the ability to multi-task while on hold? Suppose it were the old days and you were just held to the kitchen wall all that time with a cord...or you had dial up and could not talk on the phone AND add your Bush countdown side bar. We are living in the time of plenty. Also I would say my children EAT $1400 in about two months.

Jennifer August 09, 2007 9:37 AM  

Mary Alice, I couldn't agree more. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I was so totally born in the right century!

juliloquy August 10, 2007 8:32 AM  

The only problem with the Bush counter is it's too high (but, unfortunately, accurate). /sigh/

Kit August 11, 2007 11:41 AM  

I'm sure she'll appreciate with age and turn into a nice tax deductible asset!

Dad August 11, 2007 11:47 AM  

I'm too lazy to figure it out in detail, but GWB is president until NOON Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2009. The countdown clock shows time until (I think) midnight - presumably on January 19-20 - but there will still be twelve more hours to go.

(Juliloquy sighs for many of us.)

Kit August 11, 2007 11:49 AM  

I just read you potted biography - it sounds like an amazing college course - my year in Rome feels pretty tame in comparison.

Scruffy Mummy August 12, 2007 2:12 PM  

You're very good to be filing your tax returns - you know, I never filed any untill a few years ago I read somewhere that I should so rang the Embassy and then I filed the three years from when I called. But I've got bored and stopped!! The guy said it wasn't required for overseas Americans to file but was a good idea to have everything up to date.

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