Dear IRS


I have received your letter regarding my 1040 Federal individual income tax return. When I went to the mailbox, it was right there among all the bills in a plain white envelope – plain except for three little words in the return address “Internal Revenue Service.”

I thought that perhaps you were writing to me to thank me for my contribution to the national budget and to wish me a large, taxable income this year. But you simply said you had received my tax return and that you needed more information to process it accurately.

Now I know that I accidentally underpaid a few years ago, but I didn’t think you would continue to hold a grudge. Last time it was three years before you caught the error. I would like to congratulate you on your improvement in promptness.

I noticed that you said to enclose only the information requested; however, you had not yet requested anything. You also said “Do not send a copy of your return.” Why would I do that when you already have said that you have received my Form 1040? So far compliance is not an issue.

What really upset me was when you said that if you do not hear from me within 20 days that you may have to increase the tax I owe or reduce my refund. You really do need to do something about your pessimism.

Finally, you got around to the real purpose of the letter; “Your Form 1040 doesn’t show your original signature. Please sign the declaration below.” So, I forgot to sign my tax return? That’s it? No fine? No penalty? No audit? Not that I’m disappointed, or anything, mind you.

I really couldn’t figure out the rest of the letter. You said:

1. “If this is a joint return, both husband and wife must sign.” But you already said that you have received my return. Didn’t you look at it to see whose name was on it?

2. “If you can’t write your name, please sign your mark.” Well, I’ll admit that there are a lot of people who think I can’t write, but I don’t believe they are referring to my name.

3. “If you are signing as a parent of the minor child, sign both the child’s name and your name.” Thanks, but we established in number one (1) that you received my return, and that you obviously didn’t bother to look at the name on it.

4. “A power of attorney is needed in all other instances.” There you go, flaunting your clout again. You must stay up nights programming computers to write intimidating letters.

So, all you really want is for me to sign my name on the affidavit and return it? I don’t know why you had to get so huffy about it. I signed the check I sent you, didn’t I?

Thanks, however, for offering to answer my questions. I don’t have any questions, but I thought I’d write anyhow just to show that there are no hard feelings. Actually, I believe I said what you wanted to hear in mid-April – even if I didn’t sign it.

It was also nice of you to apologize for any inconvenience, especially, since I’m the one that apparently inconvenienced you. You may rest assured that I won’t make that mistake again.

If I may make one teensy suggestion, it would really help if you would put your address on the return envelope instead of using a window envelope. The only thing I could find with an address to fit the window was the payment voucher, which in my case did not apply.

Also, I would like to call to your attention the fact that the signature on your letter does NOT appear to be ORIGINAL. Therefore, I’ve enclosed an affidavit for you to sign. Please return it within 20 days.

Thanks and have a great year!

Sincerely yours,
A Taxpayer

©2004 – Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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5 Responses to Dear IRS

  1. Good to see that one can have fun at the expense of the IRS – it is usually the other way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is nothing more frightening than a letter from IRS in the mailbox. (and that’s before you open it and read the convoluted message)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. energywriter says:

    Go Sheila! You told ’em. Thank you for speaking up for the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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