So the IRS is in hot water for undue diligence in evaluating conservative Americans and the taxes they owe. Thank goodness I am a little bitty frog in a small pond because I am pretty conservative and have been pretty vocal in my criticism of the person now occupying the Oval Office. Funny. I always thought that was my Constitutional right.
I have read the Constitution, understand, many, many times -- from front to back. You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand it. Nor do you have to be a psychic to understand the intent of the Founding Fathers. John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton spelled those out pretty succinctly in the Federalist Papers. The funny thing is, the Constitution is like the Bible. Most of the time it means exactly what it says, no matter how people twist it around in search of a loophole to suit their needs.
The Bill of Rights is even more cut and dried than the Constitution itself -- or at least it was until the Earl Warren Supreme Court started messing around with it. I am pretty sure I have the right to express my opinion, however -- in voice or in print. I also have the freedom from search and seizure, too. How's that working out for everybody?
Nonetheless -- I was a bit astonished the other day when I got a love letter from my Uncle Sam's representatives out at the Internal Revenue in Kansas City, Mo.
It seems they had looked over my taxes and decided that I hadn't paid anywhere close to my fair share this time around. They wanted me to file a special form that would allow me to make a larger contribution to the national till.
Always one to want to do my duty to God and Country -- thank goodness John Beyers hasn't dunned me for a larger offering -- yet -- I downloaded the form in question and began to fill it out. It was quite simple at first, because I know my name and my wife's name and our Social Security numbers. Pretty soon, however, it got quite complicated.
"Take this number from this line and subtract it from a certain percentage of that line unless the number is zero. In that case take the square root of the second most common denominator, divided by Pi R Squared to the 12th negative power times 10.2 to the negative 23rd ...
Well, it might as well have said that for all the sense I could make out of the stupid instructions. I chewed up four perfectly good No. 2 pencils trying to make heads or tails out of the whole thing -- and pulled out the seven new hairs that started mysteriously growing on the back of my head when I got my third round of cancer treatments out in Texas.
Finally I gave up and decided to let the "tax professionals" handle this one little form for me. I drove to their office, parked my car, went through their front door and started spilling my heart to the two ladies sitting behind the desks in the front office. I admitted to everything I could think of -- all the way back to keeping the copy of "Hank Aaron, RF" I borrowed from the Newton County Library in 1965.
They seemed to enjoy my story and listened to the whole thing before telling me that I was in an insurance office and that the tax professionals were next door.
Boy, was I ever embarrassed. I sheepishly backed out of the tax office and tried the next door down. It was locked. It seems that this is the offseason for tax preparation and those people only come into the office from 10 a.m. until 10:07 a.m. on the second Thursday after the second full moon after the summer solstice -- unless it falls on a holiday. There was no hope there, so I drove across the street to the place where the poor soul in the Lady Liberty costume begged me to turn in every day for three months this winter.
Their sign indicated that they were open every day -- for a couple of hours. Their sign lied. I drove to that place every day for two weeks and still haven't caught anybody inside.
Time was running out on the window the IRS had given me to file. I did what I should have done right off the bat. I took my tax return to my second favorite Florida Gator fan, Bob Brayton. His wife would be my first. He looked my return over and in about as long as it takes Will Muschamp to blow his top in a football game he had found the error which caused the IRS to make the strange request for an additional form.
He suggested I go home and call the tax folks and tell them that I was filing an amended return which would fix the problem. That's what I did -- an hour and 12 minutes ago. I am still on hold.
No wonder that bunch let an old guitar player from Abbot, Texas, get into them for several million dollars.
It is OK. I am sure they will take my call as they get done with their line dance lessons.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.