Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Calling All Refunds

I am, by nature, an early tax return filer. I like to file early so I can recover the money Uncle Same borrowed (stole) from me without paying any interest (though he's all too happy to get interest and penalties should I miss a dollar or two on my payments). This year, because of a particular "benefit" on my return, I could not e-file. Instead, I had to paper file my state return. Because of paper filing, my return has still not appeared on the lovely online system or in the automated phone system. The Internet page is happy to report the "Department of Revenue currently has no record of a return being posted for the entered Social Security Number." Reading that, I became concerned and dialed the listed 800 number to reach the automated attendant. That electronically recorded voice was happy to report that while no return was on file, I needed to allow "at least four weeks for a return to appear in the system." I pressed one to speak to a representative, and was told in extremely rapid recorded English I could call GOODLUCKHEARINGTHISNUMBERSINCEITALKSOFAST if all agents are busy, or I could check the convenient online system for my return. I literally never realized the first five times I called that they were saying a phone number to call, but each time the recording ends with them immediately hanging up (no, it does not let me know that all agents are, in fact, busy). Well, today I finally talked to a person after listening to yet another message and waiting on hold with dead silence on the line for over ten minutes. That person explained that the four weeks is actually seven or more, and they're just particularly behind on processing returns. No real apologies (sure, he might have said the words "I apologize" but somewhat like a cashier says "paper or plastic" or McDonald's employees ask if I want fries with that). I explained that my refund was not a small amount of money, but I had only filed by paper because of Georgia law, so perhaps my refund could be located and sped up. No, nothing could be done. Have a nice day. Ah, smell the bureaucracy.

Fortunately, I enjoy having a great relationship with several important legislators. I will be seeing them soon at the district and state party conventions. I have written a letter to one who has a lot of influence in Atlanta, so hopefully something might be done. Here's hoping.

-- Robert

4 comments:

le35 said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, state people, give me back MY money. It wasn't yours, but we paid it anyway.

Taxes are one of the only legal forms of stealing. (Along with Rent-to-own and Title Pawn, but at least those people willing sign up for that.)

Robert said...

My sentiments exactly.

Melissa said...

I can't efile either. I have too many legal names and it mucks up their system. You have to file EXACTLY as it shows on your SS card, and I have FIVE (yep) names on that card.

Sigh....my parents couldn't teach me Spanish, but they had to include that part of the heritage....

Robert said...

Well, you could've left off a few when you got married, I guess, but I completely empathize with anyone who can't efile now. I have always been able to, and I really *need* the money right now. It's irritating.