Tuesday, January 04, 2011

C'mon Texas - get your shit together!

Today I was paid a personal visit by someone with the Comptroller of Public Accounts Brownsville Enforcement Office. My alleged offenses (actually omissions) were serious enough that a phone call wouldn’t do, apparently.

And what horribly important thing(s) had I failed to do? First - I was accused of failing to file a corporate franchise tax report. I inquired as to what corporation she might be referring to, and am I not supposed to get some kind of request for such a report prior to being visited by an “enforcer”? 

So then the lady hauls out her laptop and does some research online, only to discover that I am not a corporation, never have been one and therefore am not required to file the report after all. (Funny that they had to send an “enforcer” all the way to my house to make this discovery in my driveway.)

Next she told me I was in hot water for not filing a 3rd quarter occupancy tax report. I went back to my records, which showed that I sent the state of TX a check in the amount of $585 on Oct. 13, a full week before the due date, and that the check had cleared. Once again the enforcer was able to verify this information on her laptop (apparently my driveway is the only place she is able to do this) and what it came down to was that the perforated payment slip I had enclosed with my check was apparently not enough of a report.

I don’t own a copier. If I need to make a copy of something, I have to scan it and print it. And my scanner has -- issues. I just don’t use it enough to warrant the time it would take to get it going again. So my question - and I think it is a valid one - is why the hell can’t Texas set it up so I can file and pay online like the rest of the world is now doing? Or at the very least, why can’t they do what the town of SPI does and include two copies of the report form in the mailer so that I can send one and keep the other for my records?

The enforcer wasted half an hour of my time, causing me great stress and aggravation, for something that could have been handled from the office with a simple phone call.

Big FAIL on the efficiency front, Texas.

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