Dave got a nasty letter from RITA (Regional Income Tax Authority), the agency that collects local income tax for various communities, including ours. The letter stated that he had not paid his 2012 taxes and that he had better do so and that they were going to use his federal returns to determine his tax liability plus charge him penalties. And if he didn’t pay, they would subpoena him to appear at a hearing.

I meant to call them, I really did, but I forgot. So, they sent him a summons to a hearing, demanding that he appear at city hall on a certain date and time. And he was told to bring CASH. And again he was told that they were going to use his federal return to determine his tax liability.

So, now I was irritated. The tone of the letter was clearly adversarial. I thought about just ignoring this too so that I could see what would happen next but then my adult self stepped in.

I called the number, explained that my husband had died and so could not make it to the hearing (I did actually say that…I know.) The woman who answered the phone politely   asked for the date of his death and said “I’ll update our records and I’m sorry for your loss.”

The person was polite, professional, and not snarky. The letters were written with the assumption that the recipient was a deadbeat, refusing to pay taxes. I’m not sure that this is the right tone for the initial contact. I think I threw out the letters or I would post them here for everyone to see.  I don’t think I would have cared so much except for the continual repetition of using his federal return. If they were using his federal return, they would have seen that he didn’t have one.

Anyway, Dave is off the hook for failing to pay his local income tax.

"doing my taxes" by Heather Harvey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“doing my taxes” by Heather Harvey is licensed under CC BY 2.0



With all the paperwork I’ve had to do, it’s finally time to do the taxes. I met with my accountant and began to go through everything. She helped me figure out everything I could use as a deduction. Thank goodness!  Because I need them. I owe a lot in taxes this year.

Medical expenses were a big part of what I can deduct. I knew I had paid several thousand dollars to the hospital last year but could not find that check. I finally called the hospital and asked for a statement. They sent me a listing of payments made for Dave by the insurance company and by us and there was the $6,000 dollar payment I made.

Amazingly, once I saw that, I managed to find the check in my checking account statement. Funny how that works.

I was pretty sure that I had written a check because I remembered writing it. I was sitting at the kitchen table and wrote the check and got it ready to mail. I told Dave I’d paid it.


The moral of the story is to keep better records.