Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
I have received your letter regarding my 1040 federal individual
income tax return. When I went to the mailbox, it was right
there among all the bills in a plain white envelope -- plain
except for three little words in the return address ďInternal
I thought that perhaps you were writing to me to thank me for my
contribution to the national budget and to wish me a large,
taxable income this year. But you simply said you had
received my tax return and that you needed more information to
process it accurately.
Now I know that I accidentally underpaid a few years ago, but I
didnít think you would continue to hold a grudge. Last time it
was three years before you caught the error. I would like to
congratulate you on your improvement in promptness.
I noticed that you said to enclose only the information requested;
however, you had not yet requested anything. You also said
ďDo not send a copy of your return.Ē Why would I do that
when you already have said that you have received my 2003 Form
1040? So far compliance is not an issue.
What really upset me was when you said that if you do not hear
from me within 20 days that you may have to increase the tax I owe or
reduce my refund. You really do need to do something about your
Finally, you got around to the real purpose of the letter; ďYour Form 1040 doesnít show your original signature.
Please sign the declaration below.Ē So, I forgot to sign my tax
return? Thatís it? No fine? No penalty? No audit?
Not that Iím disappointed, or anything, mind you.
I really couldnít figure out the rest of the letter. You
1. ďIf this is a joint return, both husband and wife must
sign.Ē But you already said that you have received my return. Didnít you
look at it to see whose name was on it?
2. ďIf you canít write your name, please sign your
mark.Ē Well, Iíll admit that there are a lot of people who think I canít write, but I
donít believe they are referring to my name.
3. ďIf you are signing as a parent of the minor child,
sign both the childís name and your name.Ē Thanks, but we established in
number one that you received my return, and that you obviously
didnít bother to look at the name on it.
4. ďA power of attorney is needed in all other instances.Ē
There you go, flaunting your clout again. You must stay up nights
programming computers to write intimidating letters.
So, all you really want is for me to sign my name on the affidavit
and return it? I donít know why you had to get so huffy about it.
I signed the check I sent you, didnít I?
Thanks, however, for offering to answer my questions. I donít
have any questions, but I thought Iíd write anyhow just to show that
there are no hard feelings. Actually, I believe I said what you wanted to
hear in April -- even if I didnít sign it.
It was also nice of you to apologize for any inconvenience,
especially, since Iím the one that apparently inconvenienced you. You may
rest assured that I wonít make that mistake again.
Also, I would like to call to your attention the fact that the
signature on your letter does NOT appear to be ORIGINAL. Therefore,
Iíve enclosed an affidavit for you to sign. Please return
it within 20 days.
Thanks and have a great year!
Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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