14. April 2010 · Comments Off on I’m from the Gov’t, and am here to help you…. · Categories: General

*sigh* I really, really hate dealing with the IRS.

In 2009, I bought a house. Now, I’ve been renting since 2001, so I definitely qualify for the first-time home-buyer’s tax credit. To get that, you have to paper-file, and include a copy of hte settlement document. I did all that, and overnighted my return to them on Jan 25, to make up for the fact that paper-filing takes longer.

Each week, I went to IRS.gov and checked “Where’s my refund,” and each week, I got a response of “We have not received your return” even though it was signed for on Jan 26. Finally, on Feb 20, they admitted they had my return and were processing it. If they found no problems, I could expect my refund by March 30. On March 15, they said I could expect my refund on April 13. On March 30, they said I could expect my refund on April 27.

April 2 was my payday from work. I checked my bank balance online, and it was higher than it should have been from receiving my paycheck. So I looked at the detail, and there was a deposit from the IRS, but it was NOT for the full amount of my refund. So I head back out to IRS.gov and “where’s my refund,” and read “We decreased the amount of your refund. You will receive a letter dated April 12 explaining why.” Great. I didn’t need a letter from them – the refund was exactly $8000 less than I expected, but I had to wait until I received a letter dated April 12 before I could call and ask them why they don’t think I qualify for the home-buyer’s tax credit.

The letter came in yesterday’s mail. It tells me they think I have a prior home-ownership that would make me ineligible, and gives me a number to call.

So I call them, and spend 5 minutes on hold after telling the computer all my business so it knows I’m real. The nice lady on the other end of the phone explains that she can’t help me – she has to transfer me to tax law. Back on hold, with an estimated wait time of over 30 minutes. I hang up, figuring I’ll try again at 8am, when they won’t be so busy.

Call back this morning, expecting that the computer is routing me to the correct person to help with my issue. Lady answers the phone, and the conversation goes like this:

IRS: Can I help you?
Me: Yes, I need to have someone explain why they disallowed my homebuyer’s tax credit.
IRS: Did you get a letter from us?
Me: Yes.
IRS: Can you read me the letter?
Me: Reads the first 2 paragraphs of the letter.
IRS: There’s your answer right there. If you can’t understand that, I don’t know how we can make it any clearer.

Just what I needed – a rep with an attitude before I’ve had my morning coffee. I finally got her to understand I was disputing their assessment – had to talk over her, because she kept talking over me. So she transferred me to tax law, where the estimated hold time is greater than 15 minutes. Oh, well… at least it’s not estimated to be greater than 30.

I’m peeved at their delaying tactics, although I shouldn’t expect any more from a government that’s running out of money. Their records should easily show them that I’ve filed taxes in GA, with a GA address since the 2001 tax year. And on every one of those filings, I had income from a rental house in Texas, until I sold it in 2008.

I’m confident that they’re looking at the fact I sold the house in Texas in 2008, and saying that because of that I don’t qualify for the tax credit. But that was a rental, not a primary home, so I *do* qualify.

Tax Law picked up at 850, approx 20+ minutes after I was put on hold. The conversation went like this:

IRS: Did you talk to someone else before me?
Me: Yes, and she said if I couldn’t understand what I read in the letter, she didn’t see how she could help me.
IRS: Did you get a letter from us?
Me: Yes, telling me they disallowed my homebuyers tax credit.
IRS: I apologize for your inconvenience, but the person mis-transferred you. I handle complex tax law. We have a different department that deals specifically with the homebuyers tax credit. Let me transfer you.

The lady was very nice, and explained that she was not allowed to answer any questions about the tax credit, since it’s not their department. I expressed my concern to her that twice now, the first person I spoke to said they would transfer me to “tax law,” and if that’s not where I’m supposed to be sent to… She said that the other dept IS part of tax law, and that they get these phone calls all day long where the callers are mis-transferred because the front-end folks don’t take the time to figure out exactly what the customer needs. *sigh*

So I thanked her for her help and explanation, and let her transfer me to the home-buyers tax credit dept, where the estimated wait time is greater than 15 minutes… I’ve now been 45 minutes on the phone with no real assistance in resolving my issue.

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