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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Dear IRS...
 


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 ďInternal Revenue Service.Ē

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 didnít 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 ďDo not send a copy of your return.Ē  Why would I do that when you already have said that you have received my 2003 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;  ďYour Form 1040 doesnít show your original signature.  Please sign the declaration below.Ē So, I forgot to sign my tax return?  Thatís it?  No fine? No penalty? No audit? Not that Iím disappointed, or anything, mind you.

I really couldnít figure out the rest of the letter.  You said:

1.  ďIf this is a joint return, both husband and wife must sign.Ē  But you already said that you have received my return.  Didnít you look at it to see whose name was on it?

2.  ďIf you canít write your name, please sign your mark.Ē Well, Iíll admit that there are a lot of people who think I canít write, but I donít believe they are referring to my name.

3.  ďIf you are signing as a parent of the minor child, sign both the childís name and your name.Ē  Thanks, but we established in number one that you received my return, and that you obviously didnít bother to look at the name on it.

4. ďA power of attorney is needed in all other instances.Ē 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 donít know why you had to get so huffy about it.  I signed the check I sent you, didnít I?

Thanks, however, for offering to answer my questions. I donít have any questions, but I thought Iíd write anyhow just to show that there are no hard feelings.  Actually, I believe I said what you wanted to hear in April -- even if I didnít sign it.

It was also nice of you to apologize for any inconvenience, especially, since Iím the one that apparently inconvenienced you. You may rest assured that I wonít make that mistake again.

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

Thanks and have a great year!

Sincerely yours,
A Taxpayer 


Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss

 
 



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