You know, you grab the mail, start tossing the junk in file 13; start pitching the bills into the basket to, er, pay later; and anything that you don’t recognize — you just leave on the counter, "for later." So, the routine goes — and it’s pretty smooth for me. I’ve even got the route from the front door, through the kitchen by the trashcan and into that spot I call a study, all mapped out and can do it without looking up as I go through the mail. And then … there it was. The envelope with the return address that merely said, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. One of the few return addresses that can really make my stomach turn.
Let’s see. I haven’t filed taxes for 2007 yet so they can’t have questions about what I haven’t done. I didn’t buy, sell, gamble away anything, or deploy to combat in 2007, nor did The Boss. Today, for reasons that can’t be explained by science, my route from the kitchen to the study, swung by the liquor cabinet.
Once fortified, I sliced open the envelope to see the one page letter that was asking, "Can you or your spouse prove that either of you were in a combat/hostile fire zone for the years XX, YY, and ZZ?" I about passed-out as one of these years in question, was 12 years ago! And we’d both been there in the intervening years … we’d both been o’er there.
We recently moved into quarters on installation that were a bit smaller than those that we left, so when we were deciding what would go into Non-Temp Storage, a lot of our plastic bins were set out to go. At the last moment on the last day, I pulled the one bin that contained all of the hard copies and the TurboTax CDs for the past 22 years … and put it in the "goes to the new home" pile. Thankfully.
I readily put my hands on both the TDY and PCS orders that had sent The Boss and I to the Middle East, as well as the paid vouchers that affirmed the Air Force knew we were there. So, writing the letter back to the IRS was a snap — all because I refuse to depart with our Federal Income tax returns … no sir, they may have tripped-up Al Capone on an income tax issue, but not me.
Moral to the story? Keep your documentation of all combat deployments. Keep your taxes sorted, filed in a rationale manner, and available. And remember, a data file created on TurboTax 1995 won’t run on TurboTax 2007 (yes, I did try!), so keep the data disk for each year as well.
I still don’t like getting mail from the IRS, but because we had our information readily available, it was a non-issue. (I hope …) O&O, MaintenanceToadOne