Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

The Phone Call

with 2 comments

Total Black: $2,191.00
Total Red: $235,585.54

Well, the dreaded day has arrived.  I worked at the contract attorney position, then at the theatre, and back again at the contract attorney position and returned home to find a message on the answering machine that I did not want to hear. 

“This is an important message from the Internal Revenue Service.”

I mentioned back in Tax Day Approacheth how nearly every night when I return home I dread opening the mailbox for fear of finding a letter from the IRS.  Or worse, one of those certified mail notices, which leave you wondering all night what it is.  But I didn’t expect the IRS would try to reach me over the telephone.

By the time I heard the message it was certainly too late to return the call.  And I’m not too anxious to do so either.  When I last spoke with someone from the IRS she all but stated flat-out that I should have used the severance money I received from the law firm to eliminate my tax debt first before using it for anything else.  I had to explain to her that I had to ration that money somewhat because I didn’t know how long it would be unemployed.  And at the time that I spoke with her, I was still unemployed.  I explained that I did want to pay my debt in full, that I wasn’t interested in any offers in compromise because that meant, in effect, that I was paying less than my share.  It’s another conversation to have about whether we should be paying income tax or how much we pay.  But for now, I owe a certain amount and I’m not going to try to shake any of that off.  As an example of my commitment to paying what I owe I mentioned that I voluntarily opted to have federal income tax withheld from my unemployment benefits.  It’s not mandatory nor automatic.

I got very little sympathy from that IRS representative.  The only fix she offered was to get the money.  I ended up borrow about $10,000 from my mother to pay a huge chunk of back taxes.  Before I could pay it all, however, Bank of America sneaked in a snatched back a good portion of that ten thousand.  I paid down my credit cards with the thought of wiping out all the variable interest rates, then charging the tax debt, and earning airline miles as well.  One fell swoop.  But like a day after I brought my entire balance down, Bank of America reduced my credit limit.  It was a “periodic” review, I was told.  Odd timing, no?  I got them to bump me back up a few hundred, but all of the credit cards I had with Bank of America got slashed.

This was all last summer too.  Looks like the IRS may have a time-frame.  Once they plow through everyone’s returns and spit out the checks, they then move on over the next few months to putting pressure on people who owe.

I’m not looking forward to this summer’s chat with the IRS.  But at least I needn’t dread my mailbox any longer.  Then again . . . I owe New York State as well.  And they did file a lien.  Yeah, might have to pay New York first.  Especially since I’m leaving soon.  Don’t want notices held up because of misdirected mail forwarding.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

May 5, 2010 at 23:52

2 Responses

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  1. Give us a hint, for cryin’ out loud!


    May 6, 2010 at 17:02

  2. I’m worried. Perhaps he’s not feeling well?


    May 6, 2010 at 19:37

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