Sunday, April 09, 2006

And Now From the Land of Tax Return Hell...

As tax season approaches, we are always surprised by the amount of stupidity that happens to go on, not only by our own government, but be the people closest to us. Well, maybe not so close to us...

For the first time in 18 years, my ex-wife decided to claim our son as a dependant, even though legally I am allowed to claim him. Of course, when you e-file the return, it gets kicked back to you with an error message stating that another return has used the Social Security number of the dependant, and there is no way on God's green earth the return will accepted.

So I call the ex up to try & find out why this she did this. Now I admit that I'm a little cranky about the whole deal since now the entire multi-page return has to be printed up with additional letters & documents showing that I do indeed have the legal right to claim the boy as a dependant. Her response goes from outrage that I'm cranked off about this to ignorance (I don't know what happened) to a mild apology (turns out that her tax preparer made a mistake). In the course of this conversation, she is trying to blame others (the tax preparer, in this case) for her mistake. Of course, she now realizes that she is going to have to file an amended return to keep her from getting into too much trouble with the IRS (yes, I told her what she needs to do - I'm not that big of an a**hat).

Public Service Announcement - Now folks, if you take your tax return to a preparer, you are obligated to give the tax preparer all pertinant & accurate information, and YOU are responsible once you sign the tax return. If there is a mistake, YOU are liable, not the preparer, no matter what the commercials say.

Here's the bottom line on all of this - many people do not realize (or care) that their lack of personal responsibility affects other people. In this case it's a tax return, which can be corrected. On the job, it could mean anything from putting out bad product (that fails or hurts someone) to hurting or killing other workers or yourself. Over the course of a number of years, I've seen all of this.

The problem is that we end up having people who go through life not wanting to take any personal responibility, and in doing so, they cause great inconvenience to everybody else within their sphere of influence and beyond. Don't believe me? As one example, think of all the product liability lawsuits that are out there. I'm not talking about legitimate lawsuits where the product is clearly faulty, but the frivolous, non-responsible use of the the product that clog the courts. You know, the ones of where someone tried to us a screwdriver as a pry bar which then broke & put their eye out. What that means for the rest of us is that if we have a problem with a product, it gets buried for years in the court system. The other thing it does is raise prices for every single item that we purchase and use.

Of course, the above is a very large view from 30,000 feet. I imagine that there are a number of instances that you, the reader, have been inconvenienced by others because they do not do what they are supposed to do, i.e., be responsible members of society. If you have been in a car accident caused by another person, you know what I'm talking about. And quite frankly, I'm tired of these people who don't care.

I know this is a rant because I'm POed. And that's OK, because that is one of the uses of Blogs. However, when commenting on this post, please keep your political comments for another time. Personal comments only this time. Thanks!

No comments: