A Nice, Pleasant Conversation with the IRS

I have a payment plan in place for my income taxes… I’m self employed and suck at remembering to make estimated payments. And J’s work can’t seem to get his withholding amount correct. In June, I called and added our 2018 taxes to our payment plan from 2017 and I upped our payment amount, along with giving them a “good faith” payment. I have been waiting for my confirmation letter of the new payment arrangement and addition of 2018. It came the week of July 4th. Now, everything the IRS sends out seems to be a hundred pages long. Meaning I thought nothing of the thick envelope. I opened it Monday and found the first page had my confirmation. Then I put the letter away.

Tuesday night, I was wondering what the other 9 pages where. I dug it out and read them. It was mostly gobbledygook about making payments to the IRS. But buried on the very last page, was a note that I needed to call them.

At 8:30am on Wednesday morning, I placed the call and had to be called back, because IRS wait times are amazingly long. Thirty minutes and some change later, I was on the phone with an IRS agent. She was incredibly pleasant. The reason for the note… Apparently, most people do not increase their payment amounts when they add a year and nobody ever makes good faith payments.

They wanted me to verify I really did want to up my monthly payment. Here’s the thing, any letter received from the IRS causes me to panic. Even when I know it can’t be bad news. Getting a letter telling me I need to call them, is even more panic inducing. And since they had taken out my July 1st payment (with the increase), I couldn’t imagine why I had to call them.

The agent I spoke to, had a sense of humor, which is good, because I use humor to cover nervousness. She explained why I had to call in and I made a joke that she actually laughed at. We made some minor chit chat while we verified the information and I filed out the new form (that I had not done and didn’t know I needed to do) and submitted it electronically. We talked a bit more, I made a few more wise cracks and then she told me to have a great day. I told her the same and the phone call ended. Total time spent 16 minutes and 20 seconds.

It was a pleasant and nice conversation, despite my being mildly terrified. We got everything sorted out… and then I had trouble finding motivation. Turns out talking to the IRS first thing in the morning, is not conducive to putting my nose to the grindstone afterwards.

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