Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How do you know that your phone call with the Department of Revenue won't be a smooth one?

Well, if it starts like this:

Department of Revenue Rep:  Ma'am what tax are you calling about?  It states there on your notice.
Me:  It's the tax with a code 321.
Rep:  I see, it's UBIT.  Ma'am do you know what's a UBIT tax?
Me:  Yes.
Rep:  What kind of a tax is that?  I never heard of it.

That should've been my cue to ask for a transfer to a different rep or a supervisor, but theoretically, the kind of tax they were charging my company shouldn't have made a difference in this instance.  So I proceeded to explain what kind of tax UBIT was and explained that we have already paid it; therefore, we were perplexed as to why we were billed again by the Department of Revenue.

Rep:  You filed twice, that's why we billed you.  Ignore the notice until we sort this whole thing out.
Me:  We did not file twice.  Why would we?
Rep:  Ma'am, I see here that we received two filings from you, and paid UBIT, I don't even know what this is, only once.  (I wish I were making this up or exaggerating.)
Me:  We filed once and another piece was just correspondence.  Not sure why it went into your system as another filing.  So what should I do now to avoid double tax?
Rep:  Send us a letter explaining that you filed twice and ask us to deleted the second filing.
Me:  But we did not file twice!
Rep:  Ma'am, I'm not going to beat here around the bush all day long.  You filed twice and that is that.  That's what I am seeing in the system.
Me: How do I know you will delete the letter and not the tax return or won't treat this piece of correspondence as the third filing?  And what should I do, ignore the notice or write a letter?
Rep:  Ma'am, I already told you everything.

At this point I admitted defeat, after all if the rep from the Department of Revenue told you that you filed twice, he simply cannot be wrong; you might have done it in your sleep or suffered a short term memory loss, but you surely did it.  Because it's right there, in the system.  And no one argues with the Department of Revenue and the system.

Me:  Well, thank you for your help.  By the way, what is your name?  You never introduced yourself.
Rep:  Bill.
Me:  Bill, do you have a last name?  Or some sort of ID that would uniquely identify you?
Rep:  I don't give out my last name.  We don't have IDs.  I am the only Fred in the Customer Service Bureau.

And finally the ray of sunshine!  On behalf of all tax paying entities in the state of Massachusetts,  I say thank God that there's only one Bill working for the Department of Revenue.

P.S. After some consideration, I called back and got someone polite and competent.  The matter is now resolved.

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