It’s tax time here in the US. April 15th will be here before you know it. By now you should have received all of your tax forms. Here’s some tax advice (you can’t totally take the former accountant out of the boy).
File early if you’re getting a refund
File last minute if you owe
Just because you didn’t receive a form does not mean the transaction did not occur
And speaking of transactions…….
In my mailbox last week was a 1099 Tax form from customer who had bought beanie hats and shirts for their Recess At Work Day Celebration. They considered this “Non-employee Compensation.” I considered this an error.
I called the phone number on the 1099 form and spoke to a very nice employee. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
Rich: “Hi, I received a 1099 from you folks that I think was in error”
Company Rep: “Can I have the customer number on the form please?”
I gave her the number and she confirms that they did send me the form.
Rich : “Well I’m glad we agree on that. But why did you issue me a 1099 for products your company purchased from me? It was products not compensation.”
Company Rep: “We give that to everyone.”
Rich: “You issue 1099′s to everyone who sells your company a product? This was goods; not services. This is not compensation.”
Company Rep: “Oh, it was goods. (I thought we had cleared that one up already) I will take care of it.”
Now at this point most people would have said okay and thank you. Not Rich.
Rich: “Okay, can you tell me what you mean by I will take care of it?
Very long pause.
And then she just started laughing. And so did I.
Company Rep: “I am so sorry. It’s been a long day. (it was 9:30 in the morning; I’d love to see her responses by 12:00) I am deleting the 1099 from the system.”
Rich: “And how about the IRS; will they be notified?”
Rep: “We haven’t transmitted the forms yet. You’ll be good.”
I thanked her for the laugh. She just chuckled. I also realized after I hung up the phone that it is not often that people recognize and laugh at their mistakes or misinformation and miscommunication. They usually spend more time trying to cover up the mistake. I think a great way to keep employees happy is to laugh when things don’t go the right way; I’ll bet in the long term mistakes, miscommunication and misinformation are lessened.
Now let’s just hope she really deleted it and it really wasn’t already transmitted. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life keeping fellow prisoners happy. They really were goods; and here is the living proof of them using the goods: http://recessatworkday.blogspot.com/