Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's Eff You: H & R Block

This is a new little segment of my blog called "Eff You." 

Today's Eff You goes to H & R Block (Yep, I'm naming names, you heartless bastards.) to which I'm now referring as "Satan."

At the beginning of the month, I went to Satan to get my taxes done. Surprisingly enough, I went there last year as well - and was refreshingly happy with my end result. I got some money back and I 'only' had to spend $260 to do so. (Sidenote: if you're familiar with Satan's pricing, they charge about $23 per page filed, which in essence blows.) 

All my previous years, I had my dad do my taxes. (Yes, I was over 30 and had my dad do my taxes - I'm a spoiled brat and a procrastinator.) Of course that was when I had one measly W-2 per year, worked full time for one ad agency, and life was a bowl of low-sodium bacon. Today, I'm a freelance writer and have about six to ten W-9s per year due to being a subcontractor. (Do the math on that: One W-9 = one page filed = $23)

Never in my life have I cursed having a good year as a writer - except for 2008. Because I made such an unbelievably great profit, I got screwed by the IRS. Let me make one thing clear - I can accept that I got screwed by the IRS. I will take full responsibility for owing as much as I do.  I didn't put any preconceived 'withholdings' in savings and I should of. That's just the basics of working for yourself.

What I can't accept is "Satan" and their exorbitant pricing and their laughable excuse for customer service. After all my business expenses were posted (car and phone written off, research expenses, etc.) - I ended up paying $450 for my taxes to get done. And this is ON TOP of the $8 grand I owe Uncle Sam.

For all you freelancers out there, if you make any kind of a profit, you can tack on $4,500 as the "self-employed tax." Expect it. Save it. Sell a kidney or something.

Before leaving Satan's office, I wrote the check for my $450 worth of services. WAIT FOR IT ... my check wouldn't go through the system. Lovely. As a 32-year-old, educated woman, I try to never ask my parents for help. It makes me feel lame. And it makes me feel like the gajillion dollars I invested in college went right into the crap shoot. Well, I asked my mom to help me pay for my outta-hand tax service fees. She wrote me a check - and I love her so much for not giving me the obligatory "you're an adult, fend for yourself" homily. 

I called Satan to make sure they would accept a check from my mom for the services, and I got this conversation from an asshole named "Jim." (Yes, this is his real name - and yes if I had his home address I would post it along with pictures of his pets and children.)

WHAT I SAID: Will you accept a check from my mother for the services incurred?
(WHAT I WAS THINKING: I'm completely mortified. I sound like I'm ten years old asking for mommy to pay for my cheerleading uniform.)

Jim the Ass (JTA): Um, I'm not sure. You can't have her write you a check and you pull the cash out of an ATM?
(WHAT I WAS THINKING: Oh gee, is that what an ATM is used for, jackass? Well, you make it sound so easy. Why didn't I think of that? Well, shit. You're the PROBLEM SOLVER, aren't you? Will you be my life coach?)

WHAT I SAID: Well, she lives two hours away, so I can't very well drive by and pick up a check made out to me. She made it out to you, Satan. Will you be able to accept that?

JTA: Oh, well, ideally, we would want YOU to pay for YOUR own tax services. Why can't YOU pay for your own services?
(WHAT I WAS THINKING:  Well, Ideally, I would want to pay for MY own services, too. But unfortunately, SHIT HAPPENS, dickwad. The economy is in the shitter and I'm a freelance writer. What are you, my therapist? F*ck you.)

WHAT I SAID: You're seriously asking me this? I can't pay for MY services because I'm flat broke and my mom is helping me out. Anything else you want to know about my personal life?
(WHAT I WAS THINKING: I swear to god, if you ask me one more personal question, I'm going to drive to your unholy alter and stab you in the neck, assbite.)

JTA: Oh, well let me check with upper management. Please hold.
(WHAT I WAS DOING WHILE ON HOLD: Carving 'kill' into my leather seats with a shank. I was in my car.)

JTA: Yes, we can accept your mother's check. Before you come in, please call us beforehand to 'remind' us of our 'arrangement' with you to accept your mother's check. That way, all of the front office staff is aware we're accepting your mother's check.
(WHAT I WAS THINKING: If you say, "mother's check" one more time I'm going to lose it.)

-end call- 

Then I hung up on him. I cannot construe to you how incredibly livid (and slightly hurt) I was because of Mr. Jim Throwsomeguilt Assmonger™. Could he make me feel any worse? He WAS an ass, right? I mean, I don't know if I was internalizing my lameness or if he really was being a complete ass. Either way, that will be the last time I use Satan as my accountant. I'll share a prison fruit cup with Wesley Snipes before going back to those dick knuckles.

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