I Got a Little More Libertarian Today

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

So I got an email from TurboTax this afternoon telling me that my federal tax return has been rejected. Reason? Invalid Social Security number. So I double checked the return. Same Social Security number I’ve been using since I started paying taxes. Same number that’s on my Social Security card. So TurboTax gave me the 800 number of the Social Security Administration so I could call to verify my number. Except that when I called, they told me that they can only verify numbers over the phone for employers, not individuals.

So tomorrow I, loyal citizen, will dutifully drive out to my local “Social Security field office” to make sure my government is still okay with this whole “existing” thing that I’ve been doing. I’d have done it today, except that like any other office whose primary motivation is serving its customers well, the hard-working folks at SSA close at 4 each afternoon.

The kicker: According to the TurboTax help forum I consulted, other people this has happened to say they were fined for filing late, even though they had actually filed on time, and it was the government’s fault that their Social Security number was rejected.

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78 Responses to “I Got a Little More Libertarian Today”

  1. #1 |  BSK | 

    My e-file was rejected for some reason or another. I just printed it out and mailed it in the old fashioned way. Though I suppose that just perpetuated another useless government faction… the postal service. D’oh!

  2. #2 |  Warren | 

    Sounds like somebody is talking about the desirability of a government run Post Office.

    He needs to be sent a message.


  3. #3 |  Chris | 

    I’m with the anti-e-file folks. I believe you’re more likely to get audited (read that somewhere recently), and I don’t feel like paying for the privilege of making things easier for the IRS. Plus, I figure my taxes so that I have to write a check every April, and I’d rather have the money in my checking account for a few more days (though the “float” isn’t worth much right now).

  4. #4 |  Joey Maloney | 

    If only you could pay your taxes with chickens, this never would have happened!

  5. #5 |  Frank | 

    #10 After 3 years you won’t get a refund.

  6. #6 |  dmoynihan | 

    Had something very similar happen to me, though I’m using H&R Block’s TaxCut. There’s actually a way to locate the pin number on the IRS website, but… inputting it doesn’t guarantee the damn thing’ll actually work.

    Reason for Efiling is you’re supposedly less likely to be audited, however, I was audited last year. And, I suppose, will be next year too.

  7. #7 |  alexa-blue | 

    maybe you’d be better off trying to solve this through turbo-tax?

  8. #8 |  Tom G | 

    You know, there are other e-filing alternatives besides Turbo Tax….

  9. #9 |  Josh | 

    As a substitute for your electronic pin, you can also use your adjusted gross income from the prior year tax return to verify yourself if that was indeed the issue.

  10. #10 |  PW | 

    This is why I believe it to be a moral duty of every human being to not report any source of income other than what is unavoidable due to the paper trail and certain threat of legal action if you do not. Taxation is theft at gunpoint.

  11. #11 |  capn_amurka | 

    I agree wholeheartedly with Chris. Even if e-file were free, I would still choose snail mail. I *want* the taxation process to be slow and expensive for those taxing me… If I could, I’d send my returns in Morse code by telegram.

    For those of you who send payment by check, I provide the following, some years ago I owed the state of Michigan taxes. I sent them an over-sized photocopy of a check that I filled out and signed. While a valid and bona fide instrument of payment, it couldn’t be processed mechanically as other checks could. That check didn’t clear for more than six months…

  12. #12 |  Matt | 

    H&R Block Online is pretty slick. I tried to do my taxes offline this year again (darn Schedule C requirement) and gave up after using the 10th supplemental form. I paid H&R Block to do them for me this year. I was done in 10 minutes, filed, accepted and refunded in less than a week.

  13. #13 |  Segodnya | 

    Be very careful with H & R Block and TaxCut. I used to do technical support for that app, and I can tell you that there were numerous problems with data privacy, willful disregard for online TaxCut server capacity shortfalls and updates for tax form, and at least two moron idiot vice presidents in a row in charge of the whole thing (Gene Goldenberg and Brian DiGeorgio, the latter of whom later went to Sprint). I’m glad your experience with H & R was good, but please be advised that that organization exists because the IRS exists.

  14. #14 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Yep, that is the IRS for you. Their fucks are actually your fucks, and your fucks are also your fuck ups. They never fuck up. If you fight it you might eventually win, but chances are you’ll have to spend lots of time fighting it, and I bet most people just do a quick Cost/Benefit calc and go “fuck it,” and pay it.

    Probably a good time to plug Hall and Rabuskha’s flat income tax proposal.

    Works very much like a VAT, but is progressive in average rates, the tax rate is 19% over all, and you’d do your taxes on a postage card sized form. No really. Wages & Income less the family allowance multiplied by 0.19. That’s it. All those hours currently spent on doing taxes, all the money….now spent on other things…productive or fun things.

  15. #15 |  Steve Verdon | 

    My cable company never gets any of my info or billing screwed up, but when they do I can get a hold of a helpful customer service person immeadiatly. Not.

    As Radley notes, a government created monopoly. However, competition is starting to form up. FIOS is one option, as are various satellite providers. Also, there is the route I’ve gone: Netflix. I get my television and movies all via Netflix and have no cable, not antenna, no nothing save a DVD player and/or the computer. Yes, yes I know there is still government involved, but that isn’t the point. The point is that competition is almost always a good thing when it comes to satisfying demand, keeping prices low, innovation, and so forth. Makes it very odd that so many liberals hate it so.

  16. #16 |  scott in phx az | 

    If you want to use tax software fine. But print off the forms, sign em and mail em. The IRS won’t reject them because of your social security number.

    If of course there is a problem with your SSN you will have to eventually straighten that out but your return won’t be late.

  17. #17 |  goes211 | 

    @39 – What about the massive # of people who rent, rather than own? What about those of us who own multiple properties (rentals). Sounds like I continue to be on the hook for even more, and the low-life bums that rent from me continue to get a free ride, despite them generally being on the receiving end of the government while I always end up on the paying end.

    On another note, as a small business owner, I’m convinced that if more people just had to DEAL with the government on a more regular basis, we’d have riots in the streets. Most people are limited to just getting what’s left of their paycheck, never pay attention to the pay stubs showing the massive % of taxes taken away, and are happy to get a “refund” which they don’t realize is their own money!

  18. #18 |  Tom G | 

    #64 – The problem I have with any flat tax proposal is that it usually is phrased as “revenue neutral” – in other words, the income to the government doesn’t go down. Also, if you honestly don’t have a problem with handing over 19% (or under similar proposals 17%) at the point of a gun to people who make up their own minds how it ought to be spent, I’d say you are part of the problem.

  19. #19 |  Woog | 

    @#67 goes211,

    At the risk of going off-topic, property tax on a rental is ultimately paid by the renters. If taxes go up, the renters pay more.

  20. #20 |  Scott | 

    While I understand the frustration of dealing with the dolts at any government agency, part of this is your own fault – why did you wait until (too close to) the deadline to file your return? You’ve had your W2s and other tax statements since early February. Granted, you would still have had this SSN issue, but at least they wouldn’t be adding insult to injury with late filing fees.

    Also, forget Turbo Tax. I’ve been using TaxACT online for the last 4 or 5 years with absolutely no issues at all.

  21. #21 |  Joshgeek | 

    If the low-lives you *choose* to rent to are only able to do so with government entitlements (see: assistance), then you are recieving your payment by virtue of those entitlements. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s how it is. Find tennants who responsibly provide for themselves, or you only have yourself to blame. Would your high tax rate be a problem if the low-lives payed a rate comisserate with yours? Just curious.

    Radley, sorry to hear about your frustrations. Hope things work out.

  22. #22 |  Chris Brown | 

    Check your birthdate. My daughter’s e-file was rejected because SS had her birthdate wrong. They require the SS No. & birthdate to match up.

  23. #23 |  bobzbob | 

    “At the risk of going off-topic, property tax on a rental is ultimately paid by the renters. If taxes go up, the renters pay more.”

    Wrong, basic economics: The rental price is determined by supply and demand. If the demand is sufficient then landlords can pass the increased tax onto the renters, but if there is excess supply the landlord will have to absorb the increased costs out of profits. Usually, the market being efficient, prices are in equilibrium – increased costs end up being shared by the both parties. Anyone with any business experience will tell you that often you cannot simply pass increased costs onto customers, more often than not competition prevents you from raising prices at all!

  24. #24 |  Radley Balko | 

    Wrong, basic economics

    A property tax affects every property in the jurisdiction where it’s imposed. It has little effect on competition between rentals. Meaning it has little effect on “supply and demand” at all, save for the would-be tentants driven to other jurisdictions by the higher rents. When all the suppliers get hit with the same increase in costs, that’s really the easiest time to pass the costs on to consumers.

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