Money Saving Monday: Taxes
Remember back when I paid my taxes?
Yeah, me too. Except that I didn’t. Apparently. Who knew!? I certainly didn’t until about three weeks later, when all the money for that big fat tax bill was still sitting in my account. “Why would that be?” I asked myself.
As it turns out, the taxes I filed were rejected. A fact TurboTax promptly emailed me about during the wee hours of the morning the day it happened. An email I missed altogether, but when I searched my inbox, there it was in it’s unread glory.
The rejection was the result of a confusing Tax ID situation with one of my employers from the 2 Jobs, 1 Nightmare. That period of time really is the gift that keeps on giving. A little paper work scouring, and my taxes were re-filed. Three weeks late.
I’ve never filed my taxes late before. I had no idea what would happen. For the similarly uninitiated, if you are wondering, they send you a bill. A bill with a big fat Failure-to-File Charge ($164.29), a smaller Failure-to-Pay Charge ($18.25) and just a little bit of Interest ($5.39). For a grand total of $187.93. In a rather hilarious turn of events, this bill showed up on the very. same. day. as my much anticipated tire reimbursement money.
This is my fault. I tried in good faith to pay my taxes on time, sure. Their rejection an honest mistake (there were two Tax ID numbers!). But I missed a critical email, and I didn’t follow-up on money that should have been gone for three whole weeks. My bad. I had a bill for $188 and a check for $189. I could just pay the federal government with money from the city government. Chalk it up to a stupidity tax and move on.
Yeah, I can’t do that. My fault or no. I can’t. It is always worth a phone call.
When you call the IRS you learn cool things. Things like: Everyone can get their Failure to File/Failure to Pay fees waived once. In their lifetime. Just once. They were very clear on that. Assuming you have a good payment/filing history, you get one get out of jail free card. Isn’t that interesting? They won’t however, waive the interest charges. Monies owed reduced from $187.93 to $5.39. Still a stupidity tax, but one that’s a little easier to swallow.
Many lessons here. I wasn’t on top of my Financial Empire. That’s unusual for me, and it cost me. Ouch. But by deploying my finely honed persistence skills and my innate desire to never pay ‘just because’, it didn’t cost me as much as it could have. We all inevitably mess up. When that happens, all is not lost. Call upon your arsenal. It could still come in handy. The over riding lesson though: Pay your Taxes. Promptly.