Thursday, June 29, 2017

In Which I Go Forth And Part The Red Tape

Well, THE SUSPENSE IS OVER.  I had my appointment at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center today in Flint, Michigan, after having my identity stolen, which someone used to file a phony tax return in my name.  The link to the left will take you to the earlier episode in this Erisian adventure.

I was delighted to learn that there was no Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) office closer than an hour from where I live.  I'm not even half an hour from the state capital BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ONE THERE.  They don't have one in the large college town 20 minutes away.  

So I got onto the pockmarked, rutted, potholed, perpetually-being-fixed highway between me and Flint.  There is nothing not to like about this freeway.  I heard on the radio on Monday that one of the northbound lanes was closed for emergency repairs "after a void opened up under the pavement," as the DJ said.  This photo was taken at the scene of a different freeway sinkhole, but you get the idea:

 Luckily for me, the emergency repairs had already been done, so I went ahead without hours of extra delays. 

Of course, on my quest I took an armload of proof that I AM WHO I SAY I AM.  This year's tax return; last year's; my voter registration card; my Social Security card; a mortgage statement with my name on it; a utility bill showing the same address, also with my name on it; all the letters the IRS has sent me about this debacle; all the letters my tax preparer sent me about it; and the names, phone numbers, and advice given me by everyone I'd already talked to at the IRS Fraud Department.  You never know what they're going to ask you to present.  I lugged it all in a 25-lb zipper case too big to fit in my backpack.

The drive was nerve-wracking.  I kept finding out I was in the wrong lane to get to my exit ramp just as a thyroidal pickup truck was trying to "Ben Hur" me off the road.  But once off the freeway, the place was simple to find.

I was over the moon to find that the office doesn't have a public restroom.  THIS IS OUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK, PEOPLE.  Planning in advance matters at a time like this, and it stood me in good stead now.  I left an hour and a half early because the backups on this freeway have been so ridiculous lately.   Naturally, there were no backups of any sort today and I arrived early enough to give me time to go around the corner to the Michigan Works! building for a badly-needed pee.

I got back to the TAC office with ten or fifteen minutes to spare, and I was just opening one of 3 paperbacks I'd brought to while away the wait when the guard came over and said it was my turn.  This was a full 20 minutes before my appointment time.  Great!  Never mind the book!  I plonked the zipper case down on the desk and handed over 3 forms of ID.  I also tapped my Social Security number into a little keyboard gadget on the counter in front of me.

The lady said that according to her records, the case had already been resolved.  The IRS determined that the mailed tax return I sent out WEEKS AND WEEKS AGO had adequately proved to them that I AM WHO I SAY I AM.  They sent out a letter a day ago certifying that and promising to mail me, at long last, my refund check.

I never needed to make that drive or collect all those documents.


Blogger Dragon said...

Hail from Flint. Hope the people at the office were polite, have had business there too and some of them can be rather jaded and crappy.

3:39 PM  

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