Radley Balko tells his frustrating stories about dealing with the IRS. These stories seemed totally familiar to me because in my business life, I deal with very similar problems nearly every day. Doing business in 12 states, I don't just deal with the IRS but 12 sales tax agencies, 12 employment tax agencies, 12 unemployment insurance agencies... you get the idea. Multiply this story times 100 and that is what I spend most of my time on running my business.
Just as one example, 8 years ago Florida switched our company from quarterly to monthly reporting for sales taxes. They did this in the middle of a quarter, so the reporting for that quarter was a funny mix of a partial quarter plus one monthly report. The next year a letter was triggered automatically from their system saying I hadn't submitted two months of reports. It took me several hours and multiple phone calls and two faxed letters to get them to understand the situation and promise to update their system. Frustrating but case closed. Or not. Their system again triggered a threatening letter to me over the same issue in December 2004. And then 2005. And 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. This comes up again every dang year. Every year after hours of work someone swears I have finally found the right person and I would never hear about it again. But the next year it pops up yet again. In 2009 they actually sent a sheriff to our Florida location to start attaching assets over the non-issue.