This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 27, 2011 7:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Like a swallow returning to Capistrano. The next post in this blog is "And then I wrote...". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Step 1: Find the IRS

A reader who still does some things the old-fashioned way writes:

Since the feds, in their wisdom, have decided that all American citizens have computers and internet access, and no longer mail out tax forms or instructions or make them available through easy sources like postal stations or library branches, I went out in search of them in downtown Portland today.

Alas, I had forgotten that the Wendall Wyatt/Edith Green Federal Building is getting a facelift, and when I arrived, the place was empty, barricaded and crawling with construction equipment.

There were no signs to tell people where to go to find the temporary offices of the IRS in downtown.

Luckily, an elderly lady who was in the same boat that I and two others milling around were, asked someone who worked nearby. He pointed to a glass building about 3 blocks away and told us, "That's the place, but you have to go around to First to get in."

We trooped over to the building in question, which looked completely vacant on the first floor with lease signs plastered hither and yon. There was no address over the main entrance -- Just "First and Main Building." No signs saying anything about, "Here's where you get your Income Tax Forms or Assistance!"

In the spare lobby at a long desk sat a lone security attendant. When we asked him where to find IRS forms, he said (without a smile), "The 13th floor. Take the elevators over there." Still no signs, but the elevator took us to the 13th floor, where I found a wall of forms and instructional books.

In one sense, it was better than the Wyatt/Green building because there was no x-raying, removal of belts and all metal, etc. unless one wanted to go through to actually interact with the IRS personnel and ask questions. If you only want forms -- as I did -- you can simply grab them and leave.

Another interesting touch... the first floor in that building is not the ground floor. A note pasted to the elevator buttons cautioned anybody wanting to return to street level to press "G" -- apparently for "ground" and not "garage."

All in all, I think we should have received a rebate or extra credit for having figured this all out.

Think of it this way, buddy: You didn't have to pay your share for an eco-wall. Count your blessings.

Comments (13)

If I could only get in touch with the Oregon state tax men.... they wont give me a straight answer on how long a e-file refund via direct deposit takes.... they told me usually 7-10 days during "full processing mode" but they are in "initial processing mode" currently.

Can't you usually get forms at the library?

Eh, never mind--now I re-read the intro paragraph and see that you cannot. My verdict is that this is pretty lame.

Be forewarned: once you have finally found Mordor, you will learn from its security that the Evil One has deemed that Mordor shall close at 4:30! Then, when you make time to come back for the ring known as a fairly common IRS form, you will discover that they no longer stock them and they suggest you voyage to an office supply store.

Is this some sort of olive branch to the Tea Party?

In a few years, this level of service will be viewed as a high bar, indeed.

Can't you usually get forms at the library?

You could use a library computer and download them from the IRS website. ;)

Aren't they still trying to match up the forms for 2010 with the changes made to tax code? It seems that I saw a sign at the Hollywood library that the forms would be there, but are just delayed.

And, Jon - a small fee, but at the libraries, one has to pay for the printing.

You can get federal forms at the Central Library, except for the 1040 instructions which they haven't received yet. word is, they will have those by the end of the month.

I'm still waiting for my W2. Some mope in Kansas has yet to mail them, even though other people working for the same company received their "electronic W2" over a week ago.

Guess I'll sign up for the electronic copy next time- apparently th people processing those are the people that actually care about doing a job.

"If I could only get in touch with the Oregon state tax men.... they wont give me a straight answer on how long a e-file refund via direct deposit takes.... they told me usually 7-10 days during "full processing mode" but they are in "initial processing mode" currently."

Thanks to the Feds fiddle futzing around with the tax code until the last minute AND the genius of the State of Oregon in totally disconnecting Oregon taxes from the FEDs, the State is quiely advising some taxpayers that, if you itemize for example, that you may not be able to file accurately until May. Yes May.

It's to give the legislature time to decide whether or not they are going match some segments of new federal code. So you may not know until May what your actual tax bill may be. They are advising people quietly to be prepared to file extensions in April. And no they haven't decided whether or not they will charge interest on any unpaid taxes when you file.

Anon Too -
The Oregon House Committee on Revenue will be holding a public hearing on HB 2535 that updates Oregon to the federal Internal Revenue Code as of Dec 31, 2010 (with modifications).

The hearing will be held on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:00am in hearing room A.

"The hearing will be held on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:00am in hearing room A."

Thanks. And this is a good teaching point I think. So next week they hear the bill and pass it out of committee with a do pass. It gets on the House agenda for a vote probably two weeks later, say Feb 17th. It passes the house on Feb 17th and gets sent to the senate.

There's a March 3rd Senate committee hearing and another do pass. March 17th the Senate passes it and it goes to the govenor with an emergency clause. He signs on March 31st and it goes into effect immediately. Bingo on April 1st we know finally what Oregon tax law is. And that is if everything goes right. Now maybe the bill can be mde to go faster but usually the above is about what you'd see.

Is this why my Federal tax return hasn't shown up?
Lucky I read this blog, I thought maybe I wouldn't have to pay this year!

Clicky Web Analytics