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A Code Section Rant

No. This is not a rant about my cootchie.

Let me just clarify this unsightly tantrum right up front: I LOVE TO GET MAIL. In my old fashioned, backward, dysfunctional snail mail box.

Unless it’s this kind of mail.

A Schedule K-1. FOR 37 FREAKING CENTS!!!!!!

thirty seven centsLest you doubt me, Dear Reader. Somebody was required to print this. On paper. And package it up in an envelope. And stick it in the mail, at a cost of………wait for it……….

forty centsAll for an amount of money that, due to rounding, I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO REPORT ON MY TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paper. Energy to create paper. To package up said paper. To track said 37 cents. Fossil fuels to mail said essentially non-reportable income to my snail mail box. At a cost of WAY MORE than the income I don’t even have to report.

And everyone wonders why I was screaming at my computer yesterday. Or why I could not stomach making my living as a CPA preparing income taxes for people.

Dang.

Our system is broken. I have no hope of a real fix.

End of rant.

71 Comments Post a comment
  1. Come now. Consider how much intolerable brain strain it would give to the computer programmers to build in something that blocked sending out such notifications below a certain figure. Besides, this is another valiant attempt to make US UnServiceable!

    February 19, 2014
    • It would be really easy for them to do, but why do something easy?

      February 19, 2014
  2. Personally I would like, and should demand, that all my future bills do not exceed 0.37cents. That is the sort of amount that I could deal with, once I had arranged terms to pay it off in monthly instalments.

    February 19, 2014
    • Would that we could all make those sorts of demands, Roger. πŸ™‚

      February 19, 2014
  3. Love it! Can i ask who Pitney Bowes is on the letter frank?

    February 19, 2014
    • It’s a massive company that makes postage machines in the US, Jim.

      February 19, 2014
      • I had a hope Gene Pitney was in there somehow….

        February 20, 2014
  4. I got a final electricity bill for 19 centimes of a euro when I moved house a few years ago. I ignored it and they sent me a reminder with a threat of sending me a debt collector. Every cent counts, lady: times are harder than we thought πŸ™‚

    February 19, 2014
    • Another example of ridiculousness. It costs them way more than 19 cents to collect said 19 cents.

      February 19, 2014
      • I don’t think that humans are involved in the process a,y more here in France. It’s a computer and a printer that decided who owes what nowadays, and you only get a real person when you fork out a fortune for the phone line to clear it all up… πŸ™‚

        February 20, 2014
  5. Wow, I just realized I could hire you to do my taxes. That would make a lot of sense. Pun intended.

    February 19, 2014
    • Nobody should hire me to do their taxes. Except Roy always ‘hires’ me. Meaning I get the envelope in the mail and he expects me to do them for free. And he calls me every day until they’re done and drives me crazy.

      February 19, 2014
  6. Your rant is approved, Andra. Government waste at its best.

    February 19, 2014
    • Not just the government. I overpaid a credit card bill by $0.19 and three months later after three notices that I had overpaid (at 29.8 cents per notice), the check was in the mail.

      February 19, 2014
    • This is corporate waste, caused by government waste. I’m all for obeying the law and paying taxes and all that, but these silly drains on productivity and efficiency are maddening.

      February 19, 2014
  7. Since you’re saving all that time by ignoring the 37 cents. perhaps you would be interested in doing my taxes.

    February 19, 2014
  8. There are no words to describe how utterly stupid that was. LOL

    February 19, 2014
  9. I join you in that rant and applaud you. Was yesterday <> day? Because, I shared a rant on my blog too. http://charlestonpr.com/posts/use-plain-language/ Though mine was not a government bureaucracy, it was at corporate idiocy — but perhaps they are both brothers?

    February 19, 2014
    • Corporate idiocy (and money) leads to more bureaucracy.

      Case in point.

      Last year, I paid Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, around 50 bucks for my program. It did everything I needed it to do. Had every form. All that.

      This year, they changed the game. I had to pay $60 extra dollars for an effing Schedule C and a place to enter K-1 information. Because, you know, people who need those things MUST have more money and therefore need to pay more for the program.

      Intuit spends MILLIONS of dollars every year lobbying our legislators to keep our ridiculous, fucked up, broken, insane tax code in place, and I think that’s just wrong. Again, I am all for paying taxes, but I think it should be simple. Here’s what I made; there’s what I owe. Done. All these loopholes and credits and deductions and whatnot end up making every one of us inadvertent breakers of the law, because most accountants will even admit that they don’t understand the tax code in its entirety.

      Hence, the reason I left public accounting. I could not be a hypocrite and make money off a system that I had grown to deplore. It was making me cynical and unhappy.

      February 19, 2014
  10. I share your rant. Rant on, woman, rant on!

    February 19, 2014
    • I’ve got to get my hormones under control, Penny. πŸ™‚

      February 19, 2014
  11. You have it down right – lunacy stalks the halls of bureaucracy. But I have to smile. πŸ™‚
    Susan x

    February 19, 2014
    • It’s everywhere, isn’t it? I read your posts about this in Australia, and it sounds like we’re all the same.

      February 19, 2014
      • Sad but true – we can only hope for a revolution – as painless as possible to correct things
        Susan x

        February 22, 2014
  12. I remember getting a check for twenty-five cents that cost more to mail than the check.

    February 19, 2014
    • And, I’d be like, just keep the 25 freaking cents. Sheesh.

      February 19, 2014
  13. Aargh. The whole concept is upside-down.

    February 19, 2014
  14. Oh, I get your rant. I owed the great country of Canada 8Β’ for a toll road violation– and they spent more in postage sending me my notice than the violation. My point? It’s not just our bureaucracy that’s screwy. It’s everywhere.

    February 19, 2014
    • It is everywhere, Ally. I follow people all over the world, and everyone is complaining about the same thing.

      February 19, 2014
  15. I think they do it on purpose, I think this is part of their intimidation tactics for the general public, to show people that youre under their watch, even for cents.

    February 19, 2014
    • I just think bureaucracy engenders rules and the inability to think with common sense.

      February 19, 2014
  16. tarakianwarrior #

    Ah, this reminds me of my Daddy’s Daddy (Grandpa Gray), he once got a check for $.01 from the IRS (YAY a tax refund – rare in our household). He framed it and put it on his wall. The IRS came to his little shack…and took it…and gave him a penny. They were angry with him because he didn’t cash it…yes, it was a LLLLOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG time ago. When they (the Government) balanced their “checkbook.” Spending dollars to save pennies – isn’t that what a lot of the Government is all about?

    February 19, 2014
    • Yep. I think spending dollars to save pennies (if they even save pennies) is a perfect description, Lori.

      February 19, 2014
  17. Estupido!! πŸ™‚

    February 19, 2014
  18. And the flip side of that coin? Kim and I, between us, should have received 1099’s, but have yet to see them, for amounts that total MANY times your 37-cents! We’re honest, and we’ll report said amounts on our taxes, but really . . . Both lunacy and laxity abound in our “system.” It boggles the mind.

    February 19, 2014
    • I’d report the 37 cents if it were 51 cents. When I prepared taxes, we set up the program to round. 49 cents and downward got rounded down to the nearest dollar. 50 cents and up got rounded up to the nearest dollar. We didn’t deal with cents. And that was completely fine.

      February 19, 2014
  19. “A Schedule K-1. FOR 37 FREAKING CENTS!”

    That got a good laugh, and without any further explanation either. At least W-2s have a $600 floor. It reminds me of the time I got a bill from Time Warner for 4Β’. What had happened was a I double paid on the same bill, because I didn’t read the billing dates correctly. A few weeks later the following month’s services were four cents more than before. Hence, they took it upon themselves to take more than four cents worth of resources to notify me of this.

    February 19, 2014
  20. My dear… we’re a very stupid county that still relies on a horrible counting system (twelves and not tens like the smarter rest of the planet) and we STILL MAKE PENNIES that cost a LOT more than a penny to make (which is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB and expensive) just because some old people can’t live without them.

    But when Frank sings it, it’s alright. I guess. I hate pennies, by the way…

    February 19, 2014
    • I can’t stand pennies, either. That’s another big rant for me. They are such a pain in the pattotie to keep up with. They take up too much space in my wallet. I can’t put them in a parking meter, even though we keep them in the car for some reason.

      February 19, 2014
  21. At one point while doing my taxes I was slated to get a dollar back from state. I was very tempted to have that made out as a check so I could be part of the problem.

    February 19, 2014
    • And they would’ve sent you one, Jon. Yes they would.

      February 19, 2014
  22. When, oh when, will e-documents be legal?

    February 19, 2014
    • When everyone who is above a certain age and thus resistant is dead.

      February 19, 2014
  23. Love it! Andra, they really should know better than to send such things to bloggers, shouldn’t they? πŸ˜‰

    February 19, 2014
    • At least they’re consistently inefficient. πŸ™‚

      February 19, 2014
  24. i once got a 7 cent credit from amazon for ordering a book early

    February 19, 2014
    • But did they send it to you? Or just apply it to your account?

      February 19, 2014
      • credit, so not as incredibly ludicrous as your piece of mail.

        February 20, 2014
  25. Let the games begin. Again. I really hate this time of year. I, too, spent the early part of my life as a public accountant. I realized early on, okay, I was 28 BUT, I realized that I wasn’t going to come out of it sane so I quit. Quitters are GOOD. Quitters are brave. They aren’t afraid to go out there and try a whole new thing. Just because I had a good job didn’t mean I was going to stay in it just because I could do the work. I became a really good bartender and made correct change every time.

    PS: Got the book and read it in one GO! Oh Andra, what a rare talent you have!

    February 20, 2014
    • I wish I had fled public accounting to become a bartender sometimes. I ran two law firms………meaning I visited A LOT of bars during that period of time. πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Laura.

      February 20, 2014
  26. It occurs to me tonight that perhaps these rants are necessary right now, Andra. Just think of all the extra adrenaline pumping through you. Can you possible keep this up for another few weeks? I’m thinking that if you mellow out it could really make the walk a bit more difficult. So perhaps we could share with you all of our current negatives, you could jump in and take on some of our angst, and although I’m not wanting to spike your blood pressure, some good righteous indignation could propel you along the trek for at least half the Trace. I’m suspecting that two weeks into it you’ll find your zen place…but if you need an initial boost all this frustration may be a good thing. I think we have to find a way to make these hormones work for you!

    February 20, 2014
    • My blood pressure was 112/90 yesterday at the doctor. So, not high. πŸ™‚ Never forget we have Roy along. I will move the car six inches, and he’ll apply his imaginary foot brake and scream that I’m going to kill us all, and I’ll lose my temper and yell at him, and we’ll be off. Plenty of extra fuel for the old adrenaline right there.

      February 20, 2014
      • Oh good! You’ve packed your extra battery pack by bringing dad! LOL!

        February 20, 2014
  27. And this is why we do pay a CPA to do our taxes … although, we don’t really need one since we don’t itemize. I would rather pay someone to have smoke coming out of her ears than experience that kind of anger and frustration myself. (And she is a grand Southern lady, long past retirement age, and my husband loves her.)
    Of course, I’m saying all this not even knowing what the hell a Schedule K-1 is. Still, I work in a bureaucracy. I get to see money and time being wasted on a daily basis.

    February 20, 2014
    • Every year, I swear it’s my last year. Every year, I drag all the stuff out and do it again. I’ll never learn.

      February 20, 2014
      • Maybe it’s the ranting you enjoy … πŸ™‚

        February 20, 2014
  28. I deal with this kind of crazy on a pretty regular basis with insurance issues. It sometimes even escalates beyond yelling to hair-pulling.

    February 20, 2014
  29. Amazing that more of this isn’t on that Internet thing I’ve been hearing about.

    February 20, 2014
    • Isn’t it?

      February 20, 2014
      • Coincidentally – was that title originally meant to say “A Cootchie Rant?” I’m sort of getting that from context, but the question burns like flames flaming up the side of my face . . .

        February 20, 2014
      • I was hormonally challenged when I wrote it. Yes.

        February 20, 2014
      • I thought it was a neat choice to let the auto-correct stand – there have been times I almost did the same, either due to a (very) brief cavalier stylistic mood, or out of sheer exhaustion from trying to blog with that damnable little iPhone keyboard.

        February 20, 2014
  30. Ridiculous. I would have been screaming too.

    February 21, 2014
  31. And with this, your real life and the movie Office Space have become one.

    February 25, 2014

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