The human imagination is a wonderful thing most of the time. About a month or so ago, I got a letter from the IRS. It is always a moment of stress when they write and this time was no exception. I owed them a small amount of money from a return of a few years ago. They gave me thirty days to pay up or provide the evidence that I did not, in fact, owe any money. I called my good friend and tax guru, Erin, who solved my problem right then and there. She told me that I would get another letter from them confirming my case and absolving my debt.
The original thirty day deadline came and went without a word from the IRS. My knowledge of dealing with the IRS is restricted to the horror stories one hears at the proverbial office water cooler. With that limited knowledge and a bent toward worry, my imagination took over.
First, it would be the phone call during dinner. After insisting on my innocence, the “agent” on the phone unconvinced and absolved to get the money out of me one way or another. I would hear from them again, he said. The again (all this is going on in my imagination, mind you), would be a knock at the door at 2:00 AM. I would be drug away from hearth and home and hauled to a secret place where the agent or agents, as the case may be, would be prepared to “deal” with my insolence and stubborn refusal to admit that I am now responsible for the entirety of the US Federal debt and, by golly, I had better pay up right now if I know what’s good for me. I had images of burning lights in my face; and worse.
When the letter did come from the IRS, it was ten days after my deadline to pay up or else. I opened it with the full expectation that my life was over. I was, in fact, absolved from all guilt, thanks to my ever vigilant tax guru, Erin.
Phew. Ditched the jailhouse again.