In Which I Contemplate my Identity

Monday, April 1, 2013

This sounds like it's going to be a deep, philosophical, post, and if I didn't have to take the GRE in 5 days and fold 173 loads of laundry*, it might turn into that. Instead, all I have the brain power to do at this point is relay the events of my day and tell myself that sometimes, you have to laugh or else you'll cry.

It's April, which means it's almost Tax Day, and for most people that is either cause for celebration (Yay! We're getting a return!) or dismay (Boo! We owe money! Or we aren't getting a big enough return!) Lots of people rage at the government (although I guess that's every day, not just tax day) and papers are pushed from one pile to another. For the last... 10 years or whatever that I've worked, I've always filed my own taxes for free online using TurboTax or H&R Block's free filing for the 1040-EZ form, but since Ken and I were filing as married people this time, we figured we should hire a professional... so we did! About three weeks ago, we took our pile of papers into his office and wished him luck. He was super nice (and recommended to us by a friend) and after a cursory look, said that we probably were going to break even. We were bummed, but excited because, hey, we didn't owe anyone anything. Whoo hoo!

Last week, the accountant called and said that he had good news!  We were getting a return! A nice return! He had found some extra credits and such that we were eligible for, so we were excited. We originally had owed NJ $45, but then I found the second page of my tax return from CHOP which had the (really annoying) city wage tax for Philly on there, so our debt of $45 turned into another couple hundred in the return. Hooray for us! Today, we emailed the accountant our signed authorization for e-filing and we were ready to wait for our money.

Then the accountant called me again. He had a question about my social security number and wanted to make sure that he had it correct. I called him back and confirmed that yes, the number he had was correct. Then he said that we had a problem, because there was already a tax return filed with my social security number. After a quick check with my parents to make sure they hadn't accidentally claimed me or something, it was decided that either:

1. Some accountant or tax payer somewhere had mistyped their own SSN and filed it under mine by mistake, OR

2. Someone had stolen my SSN

Great.

The rest of the afternoon was spent filling out forms for the IRS so I could basically say, "Hey, please file my return, but someone else has filed a return with this SSN, so you might want to check that out." I also remembered that oh hey, my passport has been MIA since July 2011, so perhaps I should finally get on canceling that. I am 99% sure it wasn't stolen, but who knows, maybe that's why my SSN is somewhere else in the world. Interestingly, but probably not related, my Gmail account was hacked last week or two weeks ago. In any case, today was really not fun. On the bright side, our return can still be filed, but it has to be done so on paper, which means it will take longer for us to get our refund... but oh well, as long as we're still getting the money, I am okay with that. I also requested copies of my credit reports because if someone has my SSN, I'd like to ensure that they aren't massively screwing up my credit. For whatever reason (that I would like to believe is entirely unrelated to my SSN being used somewhere by someone who isn't me), I couldn't access my credit reports online through the Annual Credit Report website, so they have to be mailed to me (lame), so I should have them in 2-3 weeks. SIGH.

When I wasn't handling that issue today, I was going through the world's worst designed spreadsheet in the history of spreadsheets everywhere and attempting to create forms in our online form designer. Basically, the entire day gave me a headache, and then I had to come home and interview via Skype for the program at Johns Hopkins, which I don't think I will go to even if I do get accepted because it was WAY more expensive than some of the programs up here. I suppose we'll see, and if it's the ONLY place I get in, then yeah, I'd go... but man, I did not want to spend that much money on this endeavor.

So yes, someone may have stolen my identity. I wish I could tell them that they really should have picked someone better. Someone with less debt, perhaps... and fewer health issues. Trust me, you don't want to be me, random person in the world. Speaking of health issues, I am 99% sure that I am refusing the Lupron... at least for now. I'm sure my doctor will not be thrilled, but he doesn't have a uterus at all, let alone mine, so he doesn't get much of a say in this conversation right now. If I am in excruciating pain and such in three months or six months or whenever, I'll consider it... but for now, I'm leaving things as they are, staying on my OCP, and praying that it helps. For once in its friggin' life, my body should do what it's supposed to do... or at least some reasonable facsimile of what it's supposed to do. I am thinking of trying to see a PCOS/endometriosis specialist at Penn, but we'll see if I can get in to see one before 2017.

Anyway, I have to get back to the laundry and quantitative comparisons (the bane of my existence), but let this serve as a reminder to all to check your credit report and file your taxes.

- A

*May be a slight exaggeration

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