July 2008


Taxing Problem

I’m having a nasty headache, one which I am extra happy to have been handed whilst in the States. Had I been in Germany when this one arrived it would have been a nightmare.

For some reason, although I moved out of Colorado in 1998, Colorado thinks that I owe them some $460 in overdue taxes, interest, and penalties from the 2004 tax season!

I got the letter from my Mother and today I set about finding the documentary proof that Colorado deserves nothing—a task that has ended up eating about three hours of my day—an amount that is both more than it should be and a whole lot less than if I had been trying to do this from home in Weimar.

Too much of my time was spent with me trying to resolve the issue by calling my current accountant, an expert in German-American tax filings (seriously, if you want to have one man do your taxes in both the States and in Germany, ask me who I use). The principal hitch with calling my accountant was that he wasn’t the one who did my 2004 taxes—I hadn’t yet moved to Germany in 2004.

Once this sunk in I called H&R Block to try and locate my 2004 return, but I had to call two offices because the office that I thought did mine isn’t open in the off-season, and the second office said they could get my returns.

So I popped up there, ready to pay the $22 needed to retrieve my returns—but they only had my returns for the Federal Government, and I wanted my Indiana returns. Unfortunately their computer system couldn’t pull those up and they recommended I try the Indiana Department of Revenue—in the process giving me my Federal return for free since they didn’t have the Indiana return.

It was then I discovered the source of my problem. For some reason I used my parent’s agent to file the 2004 return and she stuck my parents address on my federal return, which Colorado got a copy of—and I’m willing to be that when they saw my address they decided I was actually resident of Colorado.

From there it was a quick trip to the Indiana Department of Revenue where a woman took my social security number, looked at my ID, and checked the computer. They will get me a copy of my return—in all likelihood by Monday, the day before I leave. If not, they’ll mail it to me in Germany.

It’s been an annoying way to spend my afternoon, but spending three hours talking to people on the phone and driving around Bloomington sure beats calling from abroad.

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