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231. The Tax Charge
The envelope had the words “Internal Revenue Service”
on the outside. Oh no, Vaughn thought, this
be bad news. It was bad news. IRS
determined that Vaughn owed $963, plus $88 interest,
two years ago. They had disallowed a deduction
two reasons. One, his adjusted gross income that
was more than $40,000, and two, he was
by an employer retirement plan. Therefore, said IRS,
was not allowed the deduction he had taken
his individual retirement account.
IRS sent him six
of explanations and instructions. IRS included a returnable
with an "Agree" box and a "Disagree" box.
he checked Agree, he must pay the full
. If he checked Disagree, he must send documentation
the reasons for his disagreement. If his documentation
correct, he would owe nothing.
He called the
800 number just to make sure he had
the instructions correctly. An agent told him to
send a check with the full amount whether
agreed or disagreed. If he disagreed but his
was correct, IRS would return the full amount
his check within eight weeks.
“Don’t believe that
. For now, just send them the documentation,” advised
's brother later that day. “Make IRS wait for
money. It’s your money, not theirs.”