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The [Monday] Papers

I have to fight with the Illinois Department of Revenue today about them trying to charge me for last year's taxes twice, which they oddly decided to do recently. I mean, I know the budget situation is tough, but do you really need my $67 all over again? Bruce?

The appearance of a proper Papers column today will depend on how much that takes out of me. Given the first two rounds of this battle, my guess is you shouldn't count on it.


What's weird is how I found out the state was billing me a second time for taxes I already paid: My company was listed as not being in good standing by the Secretary of State's Office. Why? Unpaid taxes.

I was never notified - either of allegedly owing taxes or my company's standing. I found out through my bank, which checked because a snafu by them led to me having to re-open my business checking account. They don't grant a business checking account unless your business is in good standing, though. That's how I found out. Which means I don't currently have a business checking account, thanks to the state.


In my first go-round on this with the state, I was told the revenue department sent me a "final notice" that I owed taxes but that they sent it to the wrong address. Somehow, though, that's my fault and the bill was sent to collections.

Yes, that's right. A tax bill of $67 was sent to collections - triggering a credit rating notice, no doubt - in the space of weeks in which I was never notified that I owed taxes, which I don't.

(I pay my taxes in September every year; business taxes are due on March 15, not April 15, and I always get a six-month extension. It was in October that the state sent out its "final notice" to the wrong address, unbeknownst to me. It was just a couple weeks ago that I learned about this, after the bank started me on this journey.)


Not that my once-sterling credit rating isn't completely shot by now, but still. Plus, that $67 morphed into $108 with fines and late payments and . . . I already paid the $67 in the first place! I can't afford to give money to the state that I don't owe.


It was odd to me to think I had filed my taxes last year without including a check, but that's always possible. So when I first called a few weeks ago - and was met with the kind of obstinance that made me rethink my position on pensions - I handed over my debit card number just to make it go away. This was unusual - I usually fight these things to the death, be it Comcast, AT&T or the other usual suspects, because these corporations and bureaucrats are the enemy and must be dealt defeats, however small, on every hill. We must do this not just for ourselves, but for others.

But even I find myself too tired at times to exert the energy.

However, a few days ago I found my paperwork from last year's taxes and guess what it includes? Confirmation of paying by debit card the first time around via filing my state taxes online. Bingo.

You would think that proof would be enough to get a refund on the second payment. I'm betting it won't, because working for agencies like the Illinois Department of Revenue tends to turn people into monsters.

But we'll see.


The Beachwood Radio Hour: The Property Tax Polka
The Politics of Plans.

Plus: Rear-End Rahm; Privatizing Tourism; Aaron Schock's Magic Tahoe; Fuck The Obama Library; and Developing Homan Square.


P.S.: I fought a years-long battle with the IRS over my company's federal taxes and went through the entire appeals process and won. Case closed. That was four or five years ago. Well, guess what? A couple years ago the IRS started sending me notices that I owed money from 2010, which was part of the case that I already settled. Their response? Well, you appealed late fees and fines and got that settled, but you still owe the principal. Um, okay. The principal was $0, which was a big part of my appeal. But somehow they've come up with some other figure. The appeals process is supposed to be the final word. My case went from here to Cincinnati to somewhere in California to somewhere in Utah. Apparently this is the kind of appeals process that lasts a lifetime, though.


If only our tax agencies were this aggressive with, oh, I dunno, Wall Street? Corporate America? I mean, I know The Beachwood Media Company is the difference-maker that stands between our state and our nation prospering or failing, but unlike these folks, we actually pay our taxes!


Beachwood Sports Radio: Kris Bryant Has Ricketts
Kubs still Klass Klowns.

Plus: The requisite shout-outs to Tony Snell and Russell Wilson.


P.P.S.: I know it's often easier to just pay unwarranted fines and fees and so on to just make snafus go away, but I can't stand being made into a chump. It's also about fighting for justice. And I don't believe we should let ourselves be dehumanized by The System.

Years ago, I had a long, long fight with the city over parking tickets that Eric Zorn wrote about. I'm reminded of those columns now:

* City Resident Parks In Twilight Zone Of Bureaucracy.

* City Hall Lends Touch Of Kafka To Ticket Snafu.

The original error, I later learned, was that my original check was applied to somebody else's ticket. Seems like they could have just looked that up. I mean, I provided them with a copy of the check. Which was cashed. By the city.


P.P.P.S.: In this case with People's Gas, it turned out the meters were crossed.


P.P.P.P.S.: The Comcast Chronicles.


P.P.P.P.P.S.: Sprint Is Useless In Wicker Park - And They Don't Care.


P.P.P.P.P.P.S.: And don't even get me started about MegaPath, which thankfully is no longer my Internet service provider.


Get Informed And Fight Back!
I'm a big fan of this website.


* Law Enforcement Tops The List Of Most Appealed FOIA Denials In Illinois.

* Clarence Page Is Wrong About Starbucks.

* The Subtle Racism Of Comics' Skin Tones.

* JBTV To Make Cable Pitch For Local, Live Comedy Show.







The Beachwood Tip Line: Fight for your right to tip.


Posted on March 23, 2015

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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