Here is an interesting conundrum. When I worked at the Internal Revenue Service in the late 1970s, I learned to file my tax return in person, so as to get the IRS date stamp on my copy as absolute proof of filing. (The alternatives are to submit by mail or file online. If by mail, even if sent registered or certified, all you can prove is that they got something, but not what. If online, it is always possible that the computer can hiccup and lose the return. Computer security is much better now than it was initially, but I am old school, so I continue to file in person. I want that date stamp.)
With that in mind, I went to the IRS office in Midtown Anchorage to file my return, only to be told that, because of COVID-19 concerns, I had to have an appointment — and I couldn’t make one then and there, even though there were no other taxpayers present — to take the time of the taxpayer service personnel. I was given a phone number to call to make an appointment. When I called the reservation number, a computer recording told me that I had to go online to make an appointment. Back home, I went to the indicated site, where I learned that appointments must be made by phone, and the number given was the same number I had been given at Taxpayer Service. So on the phone, they want you online, and online, they want you to phone. That explains the empty parking lot at IRS: You can’t get there from here.
Isn’t bureaucracy wonderful?
— Joe Koss
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