Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Dear I.R.S. : YOU SUCK!

 "Congresspersons are too busy raising campaign money to read the tax laws they pass. The laws are written by staff tax nerds who can put pretty much any wording they want in there. I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene..." -- Dave Barry

American government is dysfunctional: this is not a secret. Even the most-clueless person will eventually bump up against some stupid, petty federal regulation, usually through no fault of their own, and then find that their "crime" is little more than the bureaucratic result of some poorly-trained, unionized, unmotivated clerk, who misfiled the required paperwork sometime between her 11:45 coffee break and 12:00 lunch hour.

(It is almost always a "her", though far be it from me to misgender a government-issue twit).

The Overlords have had a great deal of experience in dealing with Uncle Sam's moronic minions over the years, primarily because of Mrs. Overlord's physical disability, and I can say with complete and utter confidence that the two WORST-(non)functioning tentacles of the Fed'ral Kraken are, beyond doubt, the Social Security regime (which is hardly social, and apparently, the security part is subjective), and the Granddaddy of Ineffectuality, the Internal Fucking Revenue Fucking Service.

By the way, how is it a "service" when you take anyone's money from them, often before they even see it hit the bank account or wallet? And then mismanage the funds thus taken in such a way as to leave the wealthiest country in history some $30 trillion in debt?

But, I digress...

We're here to discuss the latest Odyssey in futility that is government. Specifically, the I.R.S.

The background:

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Overlord was sent a letter from the I.R.S. indicating that they believe she is the victim of identity fraud. Someone has filed a federal tax return in her name, something unusual since as a disabled person she hasn't filed a federal return in 12 years. She had to this year, because we sold the old Death Star and she had to at least file some papers -- and pay $204 for the privilege of having that other licensed bandit (the tax preparer) electronically file a bunch of data that says she doesn't owe any taxes on the sale.

The letter, dated late March, arrived the SAME DAY as she filed her return (for which she had nothing to report as income, because Cap Gains threshold).

The letter stated she would have call the I.R.S. at the number listed to find out what she needs to do.

This she did. She called the I.R.S. at exactly 7:00 the Monday before last. 

And, surprisingly, got an actual human being (we think) on the line...

...who had no idea why she was calling.

Because even though you call the specific hotline number provided by the I.R.S. where one is led to believe they resolve this specific problem, the ass-scratching, drooling idiot on the other end "doesn't know who takes care of that sort of thing".

But she'll find out...

We spend the next 90 minutes on hold.

Another (presumably) human picks up the phone, and then proceeds to tell us that he can't take care of this for you, because volume and got-a-60-on-a-civil-service-exam-for-this-job, and you should use the online option specified in the letter.

You can protest, but mouth-breather will be adamant. He'll argue with you all fucking day -- it means he's not working, and he's still getting paid, anyway.

So, you go to the web link indicated in the letter, only to find that you must obtain a "secure identification login", which is rich since the original letter is the I.R.S. warning us about identity theft. You discover this "verification service" is run by a third party vendor, and NOT the I.R.S., which sounds about as proper for a system designed to uncover identity theft as any I can imagine (smell that? It was sarcasm). Because nothing says "security" and "verification" more than ensuring personal information is given to as many other entities who can lose or mishandle it as possible.

You fill in the electronic form. You create a user-id, a password, and verify both, and then wait for the "security code" that will be sent to you via e-mail so that you can "access the system". The little spinning circle spins and spins...and spins...and spins...and spins some more, and next thing you know, seven hours have passed, and your request for a 'secure ID." hasn't yet been processed.

In fact, 48 hours go by and your request still hasn't been processed, so you can't use the fucking system the I.R.S. instructs you to use in order to fix a problem the I.R.S. believes it originally discovered.

This leads me to believe, Master of All Things Computer-y than I am, that the third-party website where this shit is supposed to be done is incapable of handling what is probably the traffic generated by millions of taxpayers trying to access the same system at the same time.

In which case, of what use is the fucking online system?

Besides the fact that some politically-connected vendor -- probably using the very best code monkeys    India can provide (p.s. they suck, too)  -- got paid 300 times what was necessary to build it, and did the predictable shitty job.

Like the ObamaCare websites.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking. You only have 30 days to rectify this fiasco, and you're already behind the 8-ball because that other example of government efficiency -- the U.S. Postal Service -- initially mailed the letter to the wrong address, the wrong address given to it by the I.R.S., no less, and this despite the fact that:

a) you filled in change of address forms nearly a year ago.

b) as soon as you moved, you called the Social Security Administration to give them your new address.

c) since Mrs. Overlord not only receives Social Security Disability (for which she changed the address  nearly a year ago), she also receives her late husband's government pension, and so the Federal Dipshits charged with fucking that up already have the information, too. Three government bureaucracies have her address, but none of them told the I.R.S.

This reminds me of the story regarding Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 attacks: even though Atta was on the national security radar, even though Atta arrived in the country and passed through customs and immigration at the airport, he was not only able to apply for welfare, he also applied for a permanent resident visa...which was rejected, and the rejection letter arrived at his mailbox SIX WEEKS AFTER HE WAS DEAD. Which is an indication of what monumental incompetence we're dealing with here: the Immigration service and the Post office knew where Mohammed Atta lived, but the FBI didn't.

3,000 people died as a result.

And 20 years later, things haven't seen much improvement. Because we had to wait for the letter to catch up to us, we lost a week. Oh, and we can't ask for an extension.

Because rulezzzz...and shit.

And the kicker is this: Mrs. Overlord never touches a computer., She absolutely cannot fathom how to operate one. A cell phone is beyond her technical capability. She does nothing online -- not even social media -- and yet, it is her identity that has been stolen.

Which leads me to believe that we either left something behind when we moved that the Sri Lankans who moved in found, and probably tried to get some extra COVID money (as per my housekeeper, a Sri Lankan, these are the biggest thieves on Planet Earth) , or someone went through the garbage and found some paperwork.

Whatever the case may be, if the I.R.S. were truly keen to help in this matter -- they went through the trouble of notifying us; otherwise, we might not have known -- then you expect them to help. Then again, I know better. The only way you can get government to do anything in this country is to speak out at a parent/teacher meeting or show up someplace without a mask or refuse a shot of "medicine" that doesn't work and which is killing people.

Or better yet, stick a "I did that!" sticker on a gas pump or send a mean Tweet about AOC.


SCBen said...

I would guess that the most INCOMPETENT people available are hired by our Government. One reason for that is so the idiot doing the hiring can assure him/her self as being the smartest one in the room! THAT was stratergery The Segment of Excrement Oblama utilized!

The interactions that I've had with the irs have been frustrating and disappointing! I expect MORE from my Government!!

Good luck with your ordeal - hope the stress doesn't adversely affect your wife!

Matthew Noto said...

What stress? Ultimately, she will not have a thing to do with correcting this, for while I love Mrs. Overlord dearly, she's not very good at handling anything whatsoever. She doesn't even balance her own checkbook.

This a consequence of her life experience -- since she was a perfectly gorgeous lady all her life (she is a former model), she had merely to sigh and the world threw itself at her feet, eager to do whatever she demanded of it.

I get the stress.

Because I'm stupid that way. ;)

The disability just makes her more helpless.