My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Personal IRS Story

I usually do posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I can do some other things. This is a special blog because of what's happening in our country at the moment. Just read it and you'll hear of our experience.

The past several days we've heard story after story on the internet about the IRS abuses. Now, this is definitely not a political blog, but I have to tell you our story of what happened to us. It's a very personal story and I include some personal things about finances but it needs to be told how the IRS dealt with us.

In 1991, we sold our home in Northern California to move to Idaho and a more serene lifestyle. We didn't retire at that point except from our jobs, but we were still young enough to work and we wanted to work. Well, hubby did; I didn't. I was just happy to stay at home after working for over 25 years. Don't get me wrong; I loved my job and loved working. However, I also loved being a wife and a stay-at-home wife when we moved here. We had also purchased a rental house in Idaho a  year prior to moving to Idaho as an investment. We paid about $70,000 for a 2500 square foot house on 5 acres. It was rented out immediately and kept rented for the 2 years we had it. We couldn't live in it because we needed to put the bulk of the capital gains into another house to save on taxes.

We had bought our California home in the early seventies for about $32,000 for a 1500 square foot ranch type house in a nice neighborhood and later added on to the master bedroom to make it 10 feet longer and put in a magnificent walk-in closet with personal shelving and then later we added a second story which encompassed a huge master bedroom, bathroom and huge walk-in closet with more specialized shelving and a room for hubby to have a model railroad train layout which was about 19' x 26'. It was definitely upscale at that point.

We arrived in Idaho the end of 1991 because the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake during the world series in San Francisco scared us so badly. We were several hours trying to find each other. Hubby would have been on the top road of the Cypress structure that collapsed on top of the lower road. In 1992, we bought a small business that our realtor said we'd be great at running. (Actually, we simply closed it after 5 years because I was spending too much time at it and I hated it.) So in April 1993 when tax time rolled around, we hired a man to do our taxes. We were in shock when he told us what we owed. He first told us we'd probably owe about $75,000 dollars with the money we had made in California and the capital gains we had from the sale of our house. We sold it for $249,000 and that was 1991 prices. Then he got it down to a bit more than $40,000 we owed the IRS. Then it got ugly.

We put the rental house on the market because we needed the money for the taxes. This was the middle of 1992. We sold that rental for $20,000 more than we bought it in just less than 2 years. In September, when the house sold but hadn't closed, we received several calls from the IRS. They wanted their money. The tax man and our realtor told them—for us—the house was in escrow and they would receive their money posthaste. That didn't satisfy them. We went back and forth with the IRS several times with phone calls. One agent would tell us something entirely different than the next agent. We'd tell them what the other agents told us but they didn't care. They were extremely hasty. Then they seized our bank accounts. If I hadn't had a few dollars in my wallet, which is a rarity because I used checks most of that time instead of money, I wouldn't have had any money for bread or milk. We wondered why in the world would they do that to us, upstanding Americans who always paid their taxes on time. You'll never guess the reason. They said: Because you have passports and could skip the country anytime because you've been abroad many times! We were floored. Hubby is a retired Marine. His retirement comes from the government. Why would we risk that? They eventually received their money and lifted the seizure of our personal and business accounts. (You try to run a business when the IRS seizes it; impossible!) From that day on, we never ever trusted the IRS and paid everything right on time. Of course, that was an extraordinary situation because of the sale of the house and the move and buying the business, but that doesn't excuse the rudeness of those agents. I suffered sleepless nights and major anxiety over that. So trust me, you never, ever want to mess with them.

But now in Washington we're hearing about congressmen, cabinet members and federal employees who haven't paid taxes in years. Some owe much more than we ever did. Are they being harassed? I've read they haven't. I find this all incredible. We, who served this country for 21 years faithfully, even in wars and my father was a retired Naval Office. We're really true Americans and love our country and wouldn't want to cheat it but we don't want to be harassed day after day for weeks for something we can't give them but will when the house sale closed.

Maybe this fiasco in Washington now will bring about some change. I sure hope so. To be hounded by the IRS with questions about what affiliations do you support and what do you pray about is beyond the pale for Americans. Just read some of the articles about this mess. It's really a mess and some things are going to happen that won't be pretty we think. Let's hope the powers in Washington get it straightened so the IRS can't scare people anymore.

Here's another one of those old stone homes we love so much.

A tisket, a tasket, a green, blue, pink wicker basket. ;-)

Lovely pot, lovely flowers in it.

I think I'd love this stairway, but I'd want it to be safe to go up and down on it.

Some pretty blue walls, accessories and sofa and chair.

I'm really loving tablecloths that drape over the ends of the table and are tied back. This one is very pretty and very easily done.

Don't you just love the bright pink, blue, yellow and green yoyos?

If I could afford it, I'd put a sun room on our house, but I don't want to spend that kind of money at our age. But I do love this bright, sunny room with columns and windows for the ceiling.

Someone's beautiful scrolled birdhouse among some cherry blossoms.

I think I'll buy some cupcakes tomorrow, visit a friend and share with her.

Isn't this cute? She made a darling vignette.

An old worker's tool bucket made cute with purple and white flowers.

When I saw this I knew I had to show it to you. I love it, very small, cute and quaint. From the appliances, I'm thinking it's in another country. But that darling lamp. Yummmmmy!!

These kinds of numbers are becoming popular. I like the way they're put on this 4 drawer little chest to give it some pizzazz.

I squealed when I came upon this photo of this 3 tier cake plate made stunning with scroll work around each tier and the cups and laces in it. Gorgeous!


The longest Oscars ceremony, in 2000, lasted a butt-numbing 256 minutes.

It takes 12 people 20 hours to make one Oscar statuette.