Thursday, February 09, 2006

No good deed goes unpunished

We donated a 1995 Chevy Cavalier and a who-knows-how-old Ford F150 pickup truck to charity last year. They came and picked it up at no charge and they sent us all the paperwork they said we would need to file our income taxes and claim a deduction.

In e-filing our taxes, an instruction came up that I needed to file a signature page and a Form 1098-C. Problem is, the charity sent me a Form 8283. Perplexed, I started searching for an answer to a question that is apparently much more difficult than even the secret of life.

I called the IRS. After lecturing me on how I was SUPPOSED to file the paperwork within three days of e-filing and will now "have a problem and will most likely get a notice from the IRS"...when I've been TRYING for three days to get a straight answer...they now tell me I need to file BOTH forms. Now this instruction is not printed on ANY instructions that I can find anywhere...and is, in fact, contrary to the instruction printed on their oh-so-helpful webpage that says I only need the 8283.

So I called the charity to request the required 1098-C. They tell me I don't need the 1098-C because the cars re-sold for less than $500. I told them that the IRS told me otherwise...and the woman laughed!

Why do I feel a tax audit coming on?

(Now I know why people think twice about donating to charity.)

The charity director called me and we talked about the IRS...laughed about them actually. The Form 1098-C specifically says for donations valued at over $500 and the Form 8283 specifically says for donations valued at less than $500. They were both pieces of cr@p and sold for under $500 so we have the right form. At least, that's what we've decided. Now let's see if we get audited.

1 comment:

deadbabymama said...

A friend of ours was audited a few years ago. She is infamous for being totally unorganized and somewhat eccentric. She stores everything in cardboard boxes in no particular order and her boxes of choice are empty maxi pad boxes. When the tax person came to do the audit she thrust a couple of maxi-pad boxes filled with receipts at him and went out for a walk. He wasn't there when she came back and she didn't hear anything else about the audit ever again.