Taxes are easy if you didn’t work much, right? WRONG.

I have no assets and only earned a paycheck for six months last year. But since I lived in two states, collected unemployment for part of the year, and because I was laid off in a third state the previous year, my taxes are complicated. In late February I found a tax preparer to help me. Driving 3 hours round trip and paying a large sum of money was all worth it to have someone else deal with the headache and get it right.

Fast forward to April, when I receive a notice from State #1 saying I filed an incorrect return and that I owe them money! Might I note that I never held a job while I lived in that state? I collected unemployment from another state and paid that state taxes on the unemployment compensation received. Oh, and the Notice of Deficiency says I have until 10 days after the date on the letter to pay up. The date on the letter? Eight days ago!

My tax preparer was good about responding to my panicked call and assured me that the state simply incorrectly processsed my paperwork and didn’t reference all pages attached. It was their mistake, and we’ll contest it in writing as they recommend. And luckily, we have more time to respond if we are going to argue that they made a mistake. So this will wait until after tax day, when my accountant has a little more time to draft a letter for me. Which will put me squarely in the middle of a big move. Yay!

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