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March 29, 2000

The IRS is after us, and it's my fault.

Well, that's true except for the part about the IRS, and the part about it being my fault.

It's not actually the IRS, but the Social Security Administration which is so annoyed with something I did that they're threatening to rat me out to the IRS.

It all started several years ago, when the Boss and his girlfriend Julie went into business together. Julie put up the money, and the Boss put up his vast experience in the spending money. They set up the Julie Company to do business in areas where the Company that I work for wasn't licensed. I kept the books for the Julie Company, but I was on our Company's payroll, not hers.

Two years ago, the money ran out. Julie and the Boss cut their losses and closed her company down. It didn't mean much to me except a little less overlap in the bookkeeping. They had me send all the records I had to them, so that they could turn them over to the accountant and he could close the business properly, leaving no loose ends that might trip us up in, oh I don't know, March 2000.

In the mail today I got a notice from Social Security that no W-2s for the Julie Company had been filed for 1998, the last year of operation. There was exactly one employee on the books that year. He worked in January and made $1,700. By the time W-2s were due it was a year later, January 1999, and I no longer had anything to do with the Julie Company (which was now closed anyway).


Except the accountant didn't file the W-2s, and now Social Security wants to know why. The notice comes to Julie, who hands it to the Boss, who mails it to me with a nasty note. "Take care of this." (I guess that's not so much nasty as abrupt.)

Since the accountant has all the records, I had to go through check stubs and old time cards to figure out what was going on. And I found all the information I needed to file the forms. Except, of course, the forms themselves, which are now two years out of date. So I've sent a request to Social Security, asking them for the forms. Taking full responsibility, just as if it were all my fault.

Which it wasn't. Except.

Except I probably should have realized that the accountant wouldn't think of it. The accountant had to file a mountain of paper just to get the government to let him close the books on the company. There's a certain procedure that you go through, and it doesn't include filing W-2s, because it's assumed that the bookkeeper did it as soon as the last payroll was recorded. The last payroll was in January, but the company wasn't shut down until December. The bookkeeper (that would be me) didn't know that they were closing the company, and he (I) didn't have anything to do with the actual closing. I'd filed W-2s every other year the company was in operation, but didn't think to do it for the last year.

So that's how something that was taken completely out of my hands turns out to be my fault. I'm not paying any fines or penalties or interest or late charges or fees or assessments, though. Count on that.

Here's what I listened to today while I was working:

  • Eliot Fisk, Segovia: Canciones Populares. This is a tribute to the master by his disciple, and includes some forgotten compositions by Segovia discovered by his widow ten years after his death.

  • Lisa Loeb, Firecracker. Listening to Lisa Loeb is a thoroughly sensual experience for me. Her voice makes it sound as if she's singing just to me. I like that a lot.

  • Steve Forbert, In Concert. He never became as big a musical star as he should have, probably because he defies labeling. A little more than folk and less than rock. He has a unique voice, which doesn't always sell records.

  • Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville. Still her best CD (although I like them all). Raunchy and uncompromising, you'd better pay attention when she's singing, because she'll clock you one if you don't.

  • Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto. This album comes from a time when a jazz tenor saxophonist could take the sound of Brazil to the top of the North American pop charts.

  • Jonathan Butler, More Than Friends. He's a South African guitarist and songwriter whose music is a soulful jazz that to me sounds as open and timeless as the plains of his homeland.

  • Miles Davis, On the Corner. This album from 1972 was about twenty years ahead of its time. Funky and punky, it was dangerous music, hated by the critics who didn't know what to make of it. It's full of repetitive rhythms and unusual sounds. Kind of like hip-hop, before there was such a thing.

M.I.C.H.A.E.L.: Mechanical Intelligent Construct Hardwired for Assassination and Efficient Learning.

That's my Cyborg name, so back off or I'll learn you to death. Thanks to Kymm for sending me there. Go try it.

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Latest recommendations:

Patrick, Inside, March 28, Winchester

Jolene, Take to the Sky, March 25, It's a Girl!!

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.