Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cheers to the IRS. Jeers to Mass DOR.

Husband here...

If you know me personally, you're probably as surprised as I am to hear me say the first part. But really, I mean it. (You're probably not at all surprised by the second part, though.)

It all comes back to those pesky Nanny-related taxes. Overall, the feds have been just fine to deal with. A single taxing authority, everything handled easily electronically, and fully integrated into Intuit Online Payroll. (I still hate paying so much in taxes, but at least they make it straightforward.) The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on the other hand, is a pain in the ass. Multiple taxing authorities, cumbersome and confusing online tools, multiple ridiculous forms...and nothing gets handled automatically by Intuit.

Two interactions this week (by mail) have really sealed the deal.

Over the weekend, I got a letter from the IRS. (Crap.) Turns out they were notifying me about a penalty I owed for paying the Nanny's withholding tax a couple weeks late last month. Which I absolutely did, and knew I was late and would owe a penalty when I did it. (Slipped my mind when I was working through our Vineyard vacation, you know?) But the letter was to let me know they were waiving the penalty (~$100, so not chump change), and just letting me go with a warning to please pay up promptly next time. Who ever expected to be surprised and delighted by the IRS?

And then today, the Mass. Department of Revenue weighs in. Nothing to do with late payments; their deadlines are different and I paid them on time. No, they say I owe them $1,200 in back taxes, interest, and penalties for failing to file in JANUARY--before our Nanny even started with us. Ridiculous. Now I presumably have to prove somehow that she WASN'T working for us then. You know, I think one of the many forms I've had to send in specifically required you to specify the start date for each of your employees--but that one went to the Dept. of Workforce Training, or something. They apparently don't chat so much with DOR. So this is just one more thing to deal with.

All in all, nice work Mass DOR. Bad enough to steal my money (and the Nanny's, with me as your agent) at gunpoint. But do you have to make it such a hassle?


Mommy, Esq. said...

Thank goodness to Husband and all he does to save us money and take care of tax forms. Two cheers (from Ned and Penny) for him!

Anonymous said...

I hate nanny taxes. Really, really hate them. Last year I paid in to the Feds, but then when it came time to file my personal taxes, they couldn't reconcile my Federal Tax ID to my SSN. I'm *still* trying to get that money back. You may want to talk to a CPA before you pay the feds anymore. Mine has advised me to use my federal withholding from my personal taxes to cover me.