Monday, April 09, 2007

Calling the IRS

Ah, tax season. After all was said and done we owed The Feds. So we sent in a check about three weeks ago but it hasn't cleared.

Somewhat concerned, we called our accountant who is a very nice, retired military guy named Bert.

"Bert!" I cried into the phone. "The Feds haven't taken our money and we're worried that they're going to haul us off to the Big House for tax evasion or some junk. Help us! You're our only hope!" (I admit I felt a bit like Princess Lea when I said that. And I'm not gonna lie, those flowing robes she wears look wicked comfortable.)

Bert, being the good natured accountant he is, told us to call the IRS.
Well that sounds like an adventure.

I called the number and I kid you not, the first thing I hear is a cheery, recorded voice say, "Welcome to the Internal Revenue Service." It was like Hanzel and Grettel hearing, "Welcome to my candy house in woods." Creepy.

After navigating my way through a relatively simple automated system I was put on hold to the melodic tunes of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. But it wasn't the whole suite, just 45 seconds of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. After a few rounds of the ballet it switched to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht Musik and played the "chorus" part over and over and over and over again, intermingled with static. Ugh.

Then "Mr. Allen" picked up. Seriously. That's how he introduced himself. "Mr. Allen".

He sounded like he was trying to come across all mysterious or cool, like Mr. Smith on The Matrix. Then again, if I was IRS Customer Support I'd probably need to find ways to entertain myself too. He asked me a few questions and I gave him the same information I'd just typed into the automated system. Then he excused himself to "do some research".

My wife suspected he went to get a donut.

More Mozart and static...

After a few minutes and a half dozen Krispy Kremes later, "Mr. Allen" returned to say that the check hadn't cleared.

Yeah. I know. That's why I'm calling.

Mr. Allen instructed us to watch our account and if it hasn't cleared by the end of the week to send in another check, and make sure it's postmarked by April 17th. So that's what we'll do.

Note: While not overly helpful, my experience with IRS has been better than with Apple's customer service.