Tax Troubles

September 8, 2010

In a previous blog I bemoaned the state of Kansas’s new rule that sales tax must be paid online.  It turns out I was right to be wary of computer filed returns.  On Saturday I received a threatening letter from the state saying that their records indicate my return for April, May June sales tax had not been filed with the Department (in spite of written records I have indicating otherwise.)  The state threatened me with “severe penalties” and said further that “Failure to respond timely could result in legal action such as the filing of a tax warrant, assessments, garnishment of wages and bank accounts, or seizure of real and personal property.”  All this over $18.23 in sales tax that I paid on time.

Since this letter arrived on a Saturday before a holiday weekend, there was nothing I could do until Tuesday.  I called the number listed on the letter, was put on hold and finally referred to another number where I was put on hold again.  At last I was able to speak with a real human, who assured me that the state had indeed received my money.  They just had not received the form that was to accompany it (which we thought we had sent).  He listed step by step what I was supposed to do to fill out the form and send it electronically.

I hadn’t felt competent to fill out the forms originally, so I consulted the Ph.D. who had helped me.  It was not easy but we finally think we have done it correctly and sent it in.  The man on the phone assured me I would not have to pay my sales tax again, but Ph.D. says he thinks filling out the form as directed will result in a second payment.  He is probably right.  It is discouraging how difficult the state makes being honest.  The only ray of sunshine is that since my sales have been so low both this year and last, the state in its wisdom may next year only require me to file sales tax once a year instead of the four times I am required to do it now.

At my easel:  I’m working on “Sunflowers in the Rain,” the painting I started last week out at the sunflower field.

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