I got a letter today from the Illinois Internal Revenue Service.  It states that I’m paid up in full for income tax, but I owe money as a “Late Estimated Payment Penalty.”

I assumed that meant that I sent in my 2012 return payment late (I don’t do the newfangled e-file thing), but I knew I had sent it in plenty of time.  So I called the 800 number.

I finally got an agent.  He was sort of competent, and confirmed that I paid on time, but he couldn’t effectively explain to me why I owed money.

He passed me to his supervisor.  Apparently, in Illinois, if you owed over a certain amount for the previous year, even if you paid in full and on time, they want you to make payments for THIS year.  He went through a complicated formula.  I said, “so, essentially, I’m paying taxes in advance?”

“Well, yes…”

“This has never happened before, and I’ve owed similar amounts.  And I don’t understand this ‘payment plan’ if I always pay it off in full every year.”

I don’t remember the exact words, but he had a kind of “I think it’s silly, but what’re ya gonna do?” vibe about him.

Being forced to pay income taxes in advance.  Isn’t that kind of like going to a fancy expensive restaurant, and instead of paying the check at the end of the meal, they make you pay for each course throughout?

I feel like Rocco’s standing over me with a lead pipe, gently tapping it into his open palm, saying, “the boss says you been payin’ off yer debts real good.  You’re an on-time stand-up guy.  Be he’s short on cash, so youse gonna have to pay him off before you even owe him yet.”


SILVERISH LINING: They guy said I could send in (with payment) an abatement of penalty stating my case, and maybe, just maybe, they’d refund my payment.  Thanks, gubmint!