At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there is not a day in the lives of Steven and Lori Romano that could ever be called mundane. I don’t know what it is about us, but we seem to attract all things strange, crazy, extraordinary, and downright bizarre.
Take our recent tax issue for instance. (If you need to review the full backstory click HERE).
When we left H&R Block a week ago, we weren’t 100% certain how the whole First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was going to play out, but I have to say, we were bracing ourselves for the worst and getting the money in place in case we found out that we needed to immediately repay the lump sum.
Funny thing was, after spending almost two hours sitting with our tax guy, we still didn’t have any answers about the damn Homebuyer Credit. He tried looking it up in his manual, searching the IRS website, and even tried entering about two dozen different things into the computer, but nothing seemed to work. We went ahead and e-filed our return, and went home to do a little more research on the Homebuyer Credit.
Two days later, our tax guy called. After spending several hours online and poring over his manuals, the best he could tell was that the balance was likely due. Wanting to make sure we were taking the right steps, Steven headed over to the local IRS office to ask a few questions and see if he could get some answers straight from the horse’s mouth.
Of course, the agent that Steven spoke to acted like we must either be a couple of morons or a couple of thieves. That’s right, sir, we’re criminals. Tax evaders. We’re here in your office of our own volition trying to figure out how to give this money back and all you’ve got for us is a whole bunch of attitude and a a half-assed explanation of the forms we will need to fill out to amend our current tax refund.
So, tonight we headed back over to H&R Block with the amendment forms and our tax guy got to work again.
And that’s when we broke H&R Block.
You want to know why our economy is in the crapper? This First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit is a prime example. See, our government is the king of the bait and switch. They decide they want to stimulate the economy and motivate hardworking Americans to buy homes, so they start giving money away as an incentive. When it starts going well, they change the rules, and instead of an actual tax credit, buyers are issued a loan. As soon as people start catching on and home sales start to plummet, they change the rules again. Then, when the economy continues to tank, they start scrambling to clean up the mess and make more of a mess in the process.
See, with all the changes and the backpedaling and the mismanagement, somebody apparently forgot what the rules were in the first place, and our poor tax guy has apparently gotten stuck with what he is saying is the craziest situation he’s seen in all his years in the business. Tomorrow, he and his manager get to call the H&R Block headquarters to discuss what appears to be a very big glitch in the system that literally will not allow us to complete our taxes.
We won’t know for sure what the issue is until we hear back from the folks over at headquarters, but apparently, because Steven and I are being responsible, honest, diligent citizens, the system can’t decide what to do with our First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit. See, they made rules and provisions for people who foreclosed on their homes, people who walked away from their homes, people who died, people who divorced, homes that were condemned, homes that were destroyed, homes that were sold for a loss. But they didn’t make any sort of rules about people who simply moved out.
How does this happen, people? And how does it always happen to us?
All we want to do is pay back the money and be done with this whole mess. But apparently, the government doesn’t want it too badly. If they did, they wouldn’t make it so damned impossible. At this point, we should either be receiving some sort of compensation from H&R Block for being some sort of case study, or a loan forgiveness from the government because it was their stupid rule (or rather lack of rules) that got us into this mess in the first place.
What’s going to be really interesting though is seeing whether or not the IRS even catches its own mistake when they process the return. We filed it last week, so we’ll just have to see what happens when the return arrives.
Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted. 🙂