When I think of the IRS, I think of death and taxes, in that order. Thank you, Benjamin Franklin for pointing out our only two certainties in life. So far, I’ve been staving off the Grim Reaper, and, I’ve been paying my taxes every year, in attempt to avoid appearing in the radar of the IRS. Or at least, I try to avoid the IRS as much as possible. However, I had to call them up today. It seems that there was an error on my tax return this year. I wouldn’t have noticed, but my tax refund was significantly smaller than I had anticipated. I was counting on that money for my vacation this year. I waited for the letter from the IRS in which they explain their adjustment and I immediately spotted the error:  They had me listed as Single instead of Head of Household. I put off calling for about a week. Everytime I think of the IRS, audits and federal prisons come to mind. My mother and I panicked when she once received a letter from the IRS to go to their office for an audit. We just expected the worst. We dug up every receipt we could find in the house for the previous year. When she came back home, she was extremely relieved. In fact, after the audit the IRS increased her tax refund because she didn’t claim all of the expenses to which she was entitled! Years ago, I received an ammended tax return from the IRS, but they actually tripled my tax return because I didn’t properly apply the income averaging formula to which I was entitled after working for minimum wage while I was in the Marines. But I wasn’t expecting to receive one penny less this year on my tax return. So, I called the toll-free number they provided and I couldn’t get through to a live person. The automated voice message gave me another phone number and extension to call, which I did. Another voice message at the new phone number told me to call the next day or contact them through their website at Of course, I couldn’t find how to contact the IRS on their website. I called today and I was suprised to actually talk to a live person, although I did have to wait about twenty minutes on hold. But the woman with whom I spoke was very calm, professional, and understanding. She had a digital copy of my tax return on her computer screen and it turns out that it was I who made the mistake of filing as Single instead of Head of Household. She made the proper adjustment to my tax return and I should have my full refund by next week! Apart from the waiting on hold, the whole experience was quite painless!

Only two things in life are certain. Death and taxes!