Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Small Step Forward, Three Giant Tumbles Back

I think I've used a similar title for a post before.  This time I'm not referring to horse training though.  I paid off the last two bills outside of 2010 taxes for my mother's estate and was feeling relieved.  I also settled a problem regarding the refund for her home insurance.  I paid for a full year, and sold the house a month and a half later, so I should have been given the majority of the money back, but the insurance company sent me a letter showing my refund amount as zero.  Fortunately, that turned out to be a miscommunication.

So, I was feeling like I had a somewhat productive day... and then I picked up the mail.  As soon as I reached into that mailbox, my trouble detectors went on full alert.  I literally could feel a huge disappointment in my hands without even looking to read return addresses.  I walked back to the house, each step feeling heavier than the last.  I started at the top of the pile, tossing as much stuff into the trash as possible, and the very last letter on the bottom was from the IRS.

I guess when someone dies, they review their past several years of tax returns to look for inaccuracies and errors, and of course, they had to find a problem with my mother's 2009 tax return.  Really?  Does Uncle Sam really have to go to all the trouble to hassle grieving relatives?  My mother specifically hired a professional accountant to do her taxes for her so stuff like this wouldn't happen.  It's bad enough that she died while writing out a check to her tax accountant, but now to find out that he made a mistake on her tax return is really irritating.

So, even though I am getting a refund for her home insurance, now I somehow have to pull three times that amount out of my unemployed butt and give it to the IRS.  And, bonus, this new twist rides on the coattails of all those letters from life insurance and annuity companies rejecting my claims for money that I rightfully inherited.  Really?  I guess a lot of people out there want my family to be homeless.

Here's the catch:  I can hire a tax accountant to review the other tax accountant's work and the IRS's claims that my mother owes money, but if he decides the IRS is correct, then I will have to pay several more hundred dollars for his services in addition to the IRS bill.  If the accountant decides the IRS is wrong, I will have to hire a tax attorney and go to court, which could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars more than the bill, and the IRS knows it.  It's not in my best interests to challenge it.  So, I just have to roll over, play dead, and pay the bill.

It is so ironic that life insurance is supposed to be what helps your loved ones pay for such problems, and life insurance companies are allowed to be so ridiculously picky that they can deny a person's right to collect on something their loved one's paid for most of their lives, thinking they are securing the future of those who have to settle their estate.  I, personally, am tired of being victimized by corporate and political greed.

I'm back to suffering from insomnia and having to drug myself up just to get enough sleep so that I can function and battle the next day's challenges with half a head.

In other news, Scrappy may be dying.  He was fine yesterday morning, ate his breakfast like normal, and then around mid-morning he couldn't move his head and had his back all hunched up.  He could walk, but couldn't run or jump on or off anything.  I figured he must have tried to jump on or off something and injured either his neck, back or shoulder.  I gave him half a baby aspirin and by evening I saw a marked improvement.  I was able to get him to eat all his dinner.

This morning he woke up stiffer, in much more pain, and wouldn't eat at all.  I had previously decided that as long as he's still following me from room to room, I'll assume it is a strain or sprain and he'll be okay within a few weeks.  That's usually the case with Midge.  She races around the house and pulls a muscle every once in a while.

However, this morning Scrappy actually left the room that I was in to be alone.  That's not a good sign.  Dogs usually do that when they know they are dying.  He does have a fatty tumor that extends to his armpit, so I considered that it may be pushing his leg out of its socket, but it's really not that big compared to fatty tumors I've seen on other dogs I've had in the past.  It could also be something internal like a gall stone.  I gave him a piece of Rymadyl this morning and it looks like I'll have to dig up another $500 on top of everything else for the vet to run some tests.

Great timing.  At the rate things are going, I'll have to put my horses up for sale.  I know from experience that when it rains, it pours.  If one animal runs up a vet bill, then one or two others have to do it at the same time.  We cannot afford anymore disasters, tragedies or financial reamings.  If the timing of all of this had worked out, I wouldn't be so worried, but at this point, I have to look at the pattern and see that nothing has gone my way, and nothing is going my way, so I have to assume that nothing will go my way in the future.  I have to prepare for the worst.  If I can't get a job, I have to start selling what I've got.  Thanks, Uncle Sam, for making a bad situation so much worse... but, that seems to be what politicians do best.


KarenTX said...

Oh geesh. Can you not get the first accountant to defend the tax return to the IRS first? I know mine would be responsible to prove his case. If he did make an error, seems to me that you could make arrangements with the IRS to make payments, then you could make a decision on how to go forward. Those three letters sure strike fear into the hearts of everyone. Hope Scrappy has just pulled something. If the aspirin worked, I'd sure try it to see if he continues to improve.
You sure have had your share of woes, hope things turn around soon.

Mikey said...

Don't get me started on the IRS. I hate them. I'm so sorry this has been one thing after another after another. And Scrappy... oh man, that's not so good. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.
I will say, you're stuck on that tax thing. I know someone who had their taxes done (always does) and turned out their tax man miscalculated to the tune of $25,000. My friend had to write out the check and send it. It hurt him, for sure and boy was he mad. But you can't argue with the IRS. However, I would consider going after the tax acct for that.

Anonymous said...

you should call the tax acct. that did the tax for that year, they are suppose to help if there is a problem, your Mom paid him for a job and it should be made right.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I contacted her tax accountant and he said he'll look at it for free and make a recommendation, but if I want him to respond the the IRS I do have to pay for his time.

Cut-N-Jump said...

If the tax man made the mistake, he should have to respond to the IRS on his own time. He was paid to do a job, not make mistakes. Push the envelope on that one and hold him accountable. He's already been paid for his time and can suck it up.

I'm not a fan of the IRS either. (as if you couldn't tell) A farrier we knew was audited a few years ago. They froze his accounts and pretty much shut him down for a while. He couldn't pay his bills, his bills all fell behind and the IRS climed they couldn't do a thing about it or to help him. He was still working and had to take payments in cash so he could still put gas in the truck and feed his family.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It turned out to be a misunderstanding based on the way the IRS searches records. Hopefully, the IRS will accept my letter of explanation, and that will be the end of it.

Breathe said...

Whew. We had to work out a settlement with the irso urselves. Actually it went pretty well, they let us do very low payments while we get on our feet. Minor Miracle for us.

Hope scrappy improves...

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, gosh! That's just too much all at once! You poor thing!!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Bummer! What a hassle! You don't need anymore hassles or challenges like this in your life.

I hope everything gets worked out, Scrappy has a miraculous recovery and you finally get your due inheritance money.


achieve1dream said...

I'm so sorry things are so bad and I really hope Scrappy is okay and that it's nothing serious. I'm with you on the hating Uncle Sam bandwagon. :(