Thursday, April 21, 2011

The ridiculous IL Dept. of Revenue

Ok, here is my rant in regards to a personal tax situation I am currently dealing with, what good is having a blog if you can't use it to vent from time to time:-)

2007 my wife Sara and I filed our taxes like good little citizens on time and online well before the April deadline. Receiving refunds from the both the IRS and the state of IL. Our state refund was pretty small, so I checked the box for them to keep it and put it towards next year,(This is the first and last time I will ever do this by the way)I then forgot about it.

Sara and I carry on with our lives for the next 3 years and each year we file our taxes as usual. in 2010 I receive a letter from the IL Dept. of Revenue, they want me to pay taxes for 2007. After a quick review I realize that the reason they want me to pay taxes is because they show zeros all across the board for us. I think that this must surely be an error since I know we filed. I attempt to call them several times for about a week, usually getting only a busy tone, but I keep at it and finally get a live person. She tells me someone will call back ASAP. This never happens. Again, I forget about it because this must obviously be an error.

In July I receive another letter warning of garnishment if I do not take care of the taxes. Again I begin calling ever other day trying to get through. After about 5 or so days calling I finally get a person who suggests I send a copy of my return in for review. I comply with this request and wait, while I assume this matter will simply be taken care of. Keep in mind that we are not talking about thousands of dollars, we're talking about less than $900 total.

October rolls around and I again receive the same letter I received back in July. Now I'm a little pissed off. Again I call and again it takes several attempts to get someone on the phone. They inform me that nothing has been done on my file, there is no record or my mailing and no record of any arrangements I've made. I'm told that I must send the documents and copies of my return if I am to resolve this issue. This time I record all the information and send a complete packet via certified mail with delivery confirmation on 11-4 still before the deadline for amnesty by they way. Again I wait.

In December I call again on my own to check on the status. Again, I'm told that nothing has changed. I'm told this can take time before anything is resolved. Again I'm encouraged to send copies. I sent not one, or two but three complete packets, one for each department within the Dept. of Revenue, yes they have three offices with three PO Box addresses all in Springfield, IL. Again I wait.

I filed our 2010 taxes as usual in February of 2011 but I never receive our IL tax refund and no information is available on the status of our return. In April I receive a letter from the Dept. of Revenue indicating that our refund has been withheld and applied to our penalty for our 2007 taxes. This confirms my assumption. They have received my return and credited our account with the taxes paid in 2007, but now are charging us with a penalty of $280.00.

I go through 4 people trying to get to the bottom of this ridiculous situation. I remind them that I sent in all the required documentation well before the deadline for the 2010 Tax Amnesty program, even though I had actually paid my taxes. I'm informed that this program does not apply to us, BECAUSE WE PAID OUR TAXES. This program only applies to people who DID NOT pay their taxes. So since our taxes are being reported as a late filing we must pay the $280 penalty.

I now must file a BOA-1 petition to the board of Appeals to request an adjustment of the fine.

The moral of this story. Apparently it's better to be a deadbeat than to follow the rules. If I had not paid any taxes for 2007, but had been stupid enough to file a Federal Return, which some people do, in order to receive the refund I would be done by now with no fines, penalties or interest. But since I followed the rules, I must now crawl to this Special IL Dept. of Revenue Board of Appeals, and beg.

Thank you.

Cheers,

Mike

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