Friday, April 15, 2011

Herding Sheep and IRS agents

I didn't get the opportunity to write yesterday because I had a very long work day.  The day was great.  I had to give a lecture and it went over very well.  Sometimes I have a room full of people who would rather just sleep through my talk.  Yesterday they not only stayed awake but they asked questions too.  Wow, a successful day.  The drive was about three hours each way, and this was the longest drive I've done since my arm surgery.  By the end of the day my arm was pretty sore, but today it felt fine.

I had a chat with the IRS today.  I know it's just about crunch day for them but the person I spoke with this afternoon was so rude I wanted to reach through the phone and choke her.  The conversation went like this:, "I sent in my return on Feb. 17.  Your website said it was received on Feb. 22 and my return should be direct deposited on April 5."  I couldn't e-file because I adopted the grandkids.  Can't e-file when you have an adoption credit.  So I was waiting patiently for the return.  April 5th came and went.  So did the 6th.  On April 7th I looked at the IRS website and it said that there was a delay and I should call the IRS.  I've never heard of anything like that but I did as directed.  The polite person I spoke with that day informed me that all adoption credits automatically get kicked into the errors department.  She then told me that they had 30-45 days to review a return when it was in the errors department.  She also said to call back next week.  That was today.  I continued my conversation, "Since the lady I spoke with last week said to call back in a week, I'm doing so.  Is there anything I can help with or can you give me the status of my return."  Her response was, "you haven't sent in your return because I can't find it."  What?  How could that be since I know that it was received on the 22nd of February.  "I'm sorry, there is a problem and you have to send your return in again."  "What do you mean I have to send it in again, did you lose it?"  "No, it's not lost, you didn't send it to us" "Yes I did, otherwise your website wouldn't have said that it was received on Feb. 22 and was supposed to be direct deposited on Apr. 5 and then I was supposed to call and now I'm supposed to call back."  "Sorry, I don't see your return, and the deadline is Monday so make sure you get it in."

I called the IRS back this evening.  This time the person was much nicer and much more helpful.  She said that she found my return and if I don't hear anything by eight weeks plus one day (that's next Wednesday) then I should call back.  She kept asking if they'd contacted me.  I said I hadn't heard anything.  She said it looks like there are major issues.  Shouldn't be.  I asked if it's because the kids changed their names after the adoption but their social security number is still the same.  That would mess everything up, I'm sure.  No, she couldnt' tell me anything other than to call back next week.  And no, I don't have to send in another tax return.  She told me I should have e-filed.  But I can't e-file.  They don't allow it if you have an adoption credit.

I know there is nothing wrong with my tax return.  Everything is the same (well the numbers do change a little each year) as the past several years.  It's not a simple return because of the rentals and now the adoption but it's very straight forward.  And I didn't cheat or lie so that should make the thing smoother.  I'll call back next week.  In the mean time, I'll keep wishing the tax return would show up.  And this year I've changed the deductions so I'm not giving the feds free money to use.  I'd rather owe money at the end of the year then go through this hassle of trying to get my money back.

To get my mind off the IRS I decided that today would be a good day to move the sheep from the back to the front.  I do this by driving the pickup and trailer into the back pasture and park it at the end of the animal pens.  I then rig up the gate and trailer so the animals will go from the pen through a narrow pathway to the trailer.  Or at least that's the plan.  I got them into the outside pen, which is about 10 x 50.  I had the gate open at the end so they could go into a nice grassy area prior to loading into the trailer. 

I herded the sheep to the gate.  The ram blocked the opening so none of the sheep could go into the grassy area.  They all kept staring at me.  The ram is a big chicken.  If the sheep are running away from something he is always first to escape but if they are backed into a corner he will push the others in front of him so he's in the rear.  So much for him protecting his ewes.  He's only out to protect himself.  Anyway, it ended up getting dark and I could only get 10 of the 12 into the grassy area.  I gave up and went back into the house.  I'll get them in the trailer tomorrow.  They'll get lured in with some cob. 

Then I will drive the truck to the front of the property and unload them in the front pasture.  While you may think it would be easy to just herd them from the front to the back, after all it's only about 300 feet away, these sheep wouldn't go.  They are so afraid of going somewhere new that they would make an end around and run back into their old pasture.  They have to move by trailer. 

The front pasture is about 3/4 of an acre.  The grass is thigh high.  I've got the trees well fenced so they won't be able to eat them this year. 

I don't know which is worse, herding sheep or IRS agents.  Can't wait until both are done.

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