Yesterday I received a Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRA's, Insurance Contract, etc. from the local bank where I have my IRA funds stashed.
Last year I reached the grand old age of 70 1/2 and am now required to take a minimum IRA distribution so Uncle Sam can suck some more taxes out of the meager funds that I have left in my IRA after the stock market collapsed in 2000.
Earlier this year I was notified by my bank that I was required to take out $1,765.52, the required minimum distribution. Since I don't want to pay a knee bending penalty tax, I authorized my bank to transfer said amount to my checking account with their bank.
|Me waiting to see the bank manager this morning - not happy|
Yesterday I receive my copy of the 1099-R
So I check my records. Uh huh, I immediately notice that $3,531.04 is TWICE $1,765.42. Could it be? Could this be a BANK ERROR?
Well folks, we all know we don't want to confuse the IRS, especially when my bank is reporting to the IRS more money distributed to me than I ACTUALLY GOT which means I have to pay MORE TAXES on what little funds that Wall Street and the other government (Federal, State and local) haven't taxed me for yet. You'all know folks, this is a very touchy area. First of all I don't want to get on that Catch-22 treadmill with the IRS and I DEFINITELY don't want to pay more in taxes than I have too. Even though I didn't support that master tax dodger Mitt Romney this year for president, I don't want nor can I afford to pay more in taxes than I am obligated to pay. I don't have the luxury of having an offshore Cayman Islands bank account but I did have the "luxury" of stashing some of my hard earned funds away in an IRA during my salad years of earning income while I WORKED FOR A BANK!
Yes folks, I work for a hotel not but for thirty-seven years I work for a bank. In fact I worked for a total of four banks, the major part of my career with Girard Bank (now Mellon) in Philadelphia.
|Me with one of my operations staff at Mellon Bank, Philadelphia 1982|
I was a trust operations manager. And you might ask "What is a trust operations manager?" Well folks, it's basically a back office operations manager for the trust department as opposed to working as a front line teller or a bank president, neither of which I ever did. I was the manager in charge of sending out remittance checks to trust beneficiaries, charging fees to those same accounts for sending out those checks and statements, and several other back office duties including preparing the very same 1099-R Distribution form that I received yesterday. That's right folks, this is an area in which I know what I'm talking about.
I know how these forms are prepared. They are prepared by human beings. Fallible human beings. Me being one of them. Oh yes, hard as it is to believe, I've made my share of errors. And I know that if an error is made on one of these forms the bank has until January 31st to correct it before they transmit their tape to the IRS. If the error is found and corrected after the end of the month of January, then the recipient has to deal with the IRS directly. Folks, I really don't want to go there. I like to make my dealings with the IRS as simple and above board as possible. No Mitt Romney (yes, I'm going there again) with reams of paper work to confuse the IRS. I only have a staff of one to prepare my tax returns, just little ole me and my Turbo Tax program.
So I go into the bank this morning, armed with my documentation and wait for the bank's CSR (customer service representative). Wouldn't you know it he's busy with some young couple, taking forever. Bill's out in the car in the cold waiting for me. One of the teller's takes pity on me after seeing me sitting in the chair for about twenty minutes (about the time I took this picture at the top of this posting) and asked if she could help. I presented my paperwork to her. She "pulled me up" on her computer screen. And then.....nothing. She just kept looking at her computer screen. I tried to explain to her that the figures were doubled. She told me "a person doesn't do this form, it is done automatically." Uh huh. Well, that's technically not true. Maybe a machine prints out the 1099-R notice but little human fingers punch in the amount. IT IS WRONG.
After about another fifteen minutes looking at her looking at her screen I could tell this wasn't going anywhere. She was nice enough but this just WASN'T GOING ANYWHERE.
Okay, back to Square One. "Perhaps I should go back home and get my checkbook and the rest of my information and come back and see the manager?" I could see the relieved look on her face as I told her this.
Back to my car, Bill chilled to the bone (I had the keys to the car). Back home, into my safe, got my checkbook and more documentation and back to the bank before it closes today at 12 pm.
Time to see the
He agreed with me, it DID LOOK LIKE THERE WAS A BANK ERROR. He said that they couldn't do anything today (which I knew, it is a Saturday after all) but that he would copy my documentation and submit it to their operations department for research (we're not home yet folks) and correction (?) He said if it was wrong they would send me a corrected notice. I gently reminded him to make sure it was done by the end of the month before they submitted their information to the IRS. He looked a little surprised that I knew this tidbit of information so to assuage his curiosity I told him that I used to prepare these forms.
He smiled and nodded his head towards me and said "Mr. Tipton, we will take care of this on Monday." Words that were music to my ears folks.
So, this whole operation took a chunk of about 2 1/2 hours out of my Saturday morning but I feel progress was made and I adverted a potential Big Time Stress with the IRS.
Life in the fast lane folks, it is at times like this that I'm glad for all those years I worked at the bank.
By the way, hotel front desk clerks don't put anything over on me either. I got fourteen years experience in that field. I'm ready.
|"Mr. Hampton Inn - Exton, PA"|