Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did you know?

Did you know that getting your taxes back at the end of the year is like getting welfare or food stamps?

No shit? I didn't either!

Scout's birth year is jacked up with the Social Security office (has been for years). Because of this, we can't use free or inexpensive online tax services (we've tried it numerous times, and it always comes back with an error of some sort). I nag him every year about changing it so we don't have to go to H&R Block, or some other highly priced place with poorly trained employees (because for some reason, his social is good there - maybe because he can show ID? Who knows).

So we went to get our taxes done a few weeks ago. We sat down at a desk with a first-timer. Greeeaat. I knew we had at least one complicated thing on the list to take care of and now this was going to take a while. And we brought a squirmy, cranky 13 month old. Good times.

So at the end of it all, we had no tax liability, which meant we'd be getting everything back that we paid in. At that point, we hadn't even touched the adoption expenses, so I asked if they would carry over to the next tax year. The rookie obviously didn't know the answer and said, "Oh, let me ask (insert German woman's name)! She's been here for nineteen years!"

German Lady (I only specify her original national identity because 1) If you know any Germans - which I do - you know that their view of government is TOTALLY different from an average American's, most certainly different from mine, and 2) Germans - at least with me, for some reason - NEVER hold anything back. They say what they think - to hell with what your reaction is. Yes, I'm generalizing. Get over it.) explained to me that that adoption expenses would not carry over because the government is giving me a helping hand by giving all of my taxes back.

I shot her a look of, WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? I'm completely positive that, had someone snapped a photo of me at that very moment, I would have looked like an enraged serial killer.

Scout was sitting in between where I was sitting and where she was standing, and I nudged his knee as if to say, "You better play Night Club Bouncer because this bitch is about to get it." Scout took the cue and sat up in his chair.

However, German lady mistranslated my Crazy Person Look to say, "I don't understand, could you please explain it to me the way you would to a preschooler?"

So she proceeded to lower her arm and cup her hand. "See," she said, "the government is giving you a helping hand. They are giving you all of your taxes back. Really, it's like welfare. Or food stamps. It sounds bad, but it's not."

I am telling you guys, I almost had a meltdown in H&R Block.

I may or may not have said before that I'm an All-or-Nothing kind of girl. In the way that I Deal With Things, I had two options.

1. Leave H&R block peacefully, with my husband, son, and pending tax return.

2. Leave H&R block in the back of a police car for violently assaulting German Lady while yelling, "Welfare is money someone HASN'T earned, financed by other hard-working people like my PARENTS who pay money INTO taxes every year! You know what getting all of OUR money back means, German Lady? It means that we don't make enough to pay for OTHER people's electric bills and dairy products!"

Guess which option I chose. (Hint: I didn't leave in the back of a squad car.)

Oh, how I wish that I could be a Middle of the Road kind of girl. I wish I could have politely told her what a tool she was. And that she should consider moving back to her country of origin before her next explanation of the intricacies of our country's welfare system to a possible Option Number Two American.


Vypergirl said...

Wow! I think I would be looking for a CPA to work with. I know they cost more, but at least they know what they are doing and they will work with you. I know here on post you can get free tax help on post. I never noticed if they did that at Hood, but I am sure they do. Also adoption expenses are a deduction, I know, we adopted my niece! They don't carry over though to my knowledge, but some deductions can be used as long as they are filed in like 3 yrs I think. Don't take my word for it because it has been many years since I dealt with adoption expenses and we had a CPA in our unit who helped us out. I hope everything works out for you! I wish I could help more!!!

~ Denise ~ said...

...and the fact that you had enough restraint not to end up in the back of a police car! omg, that's a crazy story. Unfortunately, I think if we poll Americans they wouldn't be able to explain the way our tax system works let alone any government assistance programs.

ugh. I think I just got mad. ;(

Nicole said...

I went to H&R Block one year and it was so grossly overpriced, I never went back. I've found that using a CPA is actually less expensive and well...they're CPAs. :) I'd go that route next year if you're willing to spend the cash. :) I definitely would have had something to say to that lady...

Sarah said...


The Mrs. said...

May I just say that its moments like this that I wish I could be that off the wall person who is not afraid to go ape shit crazy on people. You know the type they get bumped accidentally in a store and they rip into the person. I would have loved to have been able to channel that person and rip into an idiot like that. helping hand my ass.

Tiffany said...

Tax time stinks, doesn't it? My hubby is stationed in Hawaii and it makes it so complicated for us, doing state taxes every year is a complete nightmare. I am so glad that you were able to leave H&R Block without a Police escort! :-) Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Aauuuggghhhh! Makes me want to bang my head against the wall, or maybe poke my eye with the end of a paper clip.

I third (or fourth) the CPA suggestion. They are expensive the first year, but not so much thereafter, and they get it right and have some brains.

Good luck!

Penny said...

I hate H&R block. Dh actually knew how to do taxes and if it hadn't been for him looking at them before we brought them in, the lady who did them would had done them incorrectly. "Oh, you're right. I guess you do get some $$ back."

grr.. That plus the fact that it was so overpriced.

I think it's great you explained the true meaning of it though. :)