Monday, March 02, 2009

Tax Help Advice

I've been seeing these commercials from companies that will help you with your tax problem; I can help some of you with this free advice.
This is from my own experience from many years ago but it will still work. This is not for the people who have a huge tax bill and make over the fifty thousand mark and above. This is for the masses of us who are the working backbone class who do not have huge paychecks every week.

I was working a full time job barely getting by when I first moved out of my parents house in the very early nineteen eighties. While I had a room mate my part of the bills where getting paid but there was not much left for anything else. It's tough to date when all that's left each week was fifty dollars ... maybe. So I got myself a part time janitorial job to supplement my full time job. I had to leave my day job at five to be at my second job by five thirty. This meant the traffic had to be just right and there was no time to stop and get a bite to eat either. The second job was until eleven at night and all outside work. My job was to push these huge trash collection carts around this large complex and collect and dispose of the trash bags. It was up hill and down hill pushing these heavy trash laden carts in winter and summer, rain or shine. Even had to have a guard with me the whole way because this company did not want anything taken that a competitor might want. Most trash went into a shredder, then compacted into sealed dumpsters.
The first few weeks working six days were tough, but as time went on I figured out my own system to minimise having to go back and forth.

That first year when I paid my taxes I got back a nice refund and felt pretty good about it all paying off. It had allowed me to pay cash for a nice little hot rod, DATE, and do some other things I'd otherwise been unable to do.
Early that second year the cleaning company came around and had us all sign these forms before starting our shifts. They told us that it was something they needed for us to fill out for the IRS, just a formality and we didn't have time to read over them. We did and we all went to work and truly being naive myself never even gave it a second thought. Just another form to fill out from the employer.

At the end of that year I filed my taxes as before and waited like the others for my tax refund check. Well, what came was not a refund check but rather a tax bill with penalties attached. The company had been doing some fancy foot work to avoid paying taxes and got into trouble. What they had us all fill out were subcontractor forms saying that we were subcontractors for them which made us responsible for ALL of our own taxes. Your not a subcontractor when you work for someone else and they set the hours and pay etc.
For me that meant that all the money I had earned had no taxes taken out on it (even though my stubs showed it did) so I owed it all. Actually I owed more than I earned because of the penalties and social security for self employed was twelve and a half percent. When you work for a company they pay half of SS and you the worker pay half. Lets not forget that I was already being charged interest too on top of all that.

I was all a panic after getting this letter and a bunch of others were to. A bunch of us quit and went to the main office to get our checks where the supervisors were having a meeting. Don't know about the others but they tried to talk me into staying on and with big friendly smiles on their faces too. One guy trying to collect his check got angry when they told him he could not have his check until he turned in his company hat which he had forgotten at home. Some choice words got exchanged and he got his check.

Now for paying the taxes I only had a few days to respond to the IRS letter so I did a lot of thinking. Turns out that if your upfront with them they will work it out with you. No need for any company to pay to do it for you or a lawyer, unless your big time in debt, but for many of us you can do it yourself.
I sat down and wrote them a one page letter with the facts and documentation that I could see I owed the money. (I didn't argue that the company had cheated us because the IRS was already going through all of their records). In the letter I showed what my monthly income was at my full time job and that I could afford to pay a certain amount each month, sometimes more if I got overtime. Plus, I attached the first payment amount to the letter and sent it off.
The response back was probably a week and they agreed and sent me a bill every month with the agreed upon amount just like any other creditor would do. To take the amount down faster I sold my hot rod ford at a loss and sent them the money from that as well. At the end of the year I had it paid down pretty far and my tax refund money from my full time job, they kept most of it and my IRS bill was paid in full.

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