I am being audited. Again. I was last year, the year before as well.
The letter looks innocent enough, until you open it. I called the number on the bottom to talk to my friend, the IRS. A young man, ready for a fight, picked up the phone.
"Having a rough day?" (For the record, it was 9 a.m.)
Now I meant this as a sincere question, but it was not taken well. I'll skip his next line.
"Easy now," That's me again. "Jonathan Friesen. You're auditing me. Are you Tim?"
"Cause Tim audited me last year and I wondered if you sort of kept the relationship going."
"No, we don't."
"Don't what?" I asked.
Long pause here.
"Why'd you call?" he asked.
"Why'd you write?"
"Listen, do you have a question or not?" It sounds gruff, but he was actually softening.
"What's your name?" I asked.
I will leave this part out for everyone's benefit.
"Okay, great," I said. "And what's your phone number and job title?"
He told me. "I'm a revenue examiner."
"Been doing that long?"
"Okay," I said, "I think I have all the info I need. No wait. I need the last four digits of your social to verify who you are."
I actually thought I heard a number here, but Steve caught himself.
"So you don't need anything?" he asked.
"Nope, I got it. I'm excited about working with you on this project."
"You are?" he asked.
"Oh yeah. All the kids are on the line. They get to listen and learn about taxation." This was not true. I flat out lied to the IRS. I confess.
"Okay," he said quietly. "Call back if you have any questions."
"You too," I said. "Don't be a stranger."
We both hung up.
I do not have any of the supporting documents I need, I will lose money. I will lose time. But somehow, just hearing the confused voice of the IRS answering MY questions makes me feel a little better.