Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Infernal Revenue Antiservice

I've debated about this post; do I want to risk bringing the IRAS' wrath upon my head? Audits? Fees? Lies?

We bought a house last year. My name is on it. I haven't owned a house in over 10 years. We qualify for the homeowners' rebate that the IRAS trumpeted about so much in the last year.

I'm convinced that the IRAS has done everything possible to make it almost impossible to get this rebate. In spite of urging everyone to file electronically for everything else, to apply for this rebate one had to send in reams of paperwork. While other people were getting their normal refunds within days, this one takes weeks.

No, wait, it's been over two months since we sent it all in.

And it gets better.

There's a web page where one can check his refund status. I check that page daily. At first it told us that we'd have our refund April 27. Then May 15. Then it said that we needed to call them. So Tom called. They didn't have any of our paperwork. We had to send it all in again. However, somehow they knew that we'd sent it in, but they couldn't find it. Doesn't make sense to me, but then the IRAS makes anything but sense.

So Tom faxed all of the papers again. Soon the web page said that we'd been approved for the rebate and we'd get it around June 1.

Then June 15.

Then the page again said to call them.

They've decided that we don't qualify. We can reapply, but we have to wait until they send us a letter about it. Around June 7.

As each stalling technique appeared, I became more and more convinced that this program is all a big lie. Now the news is so excited that homebuying was UP because of the rebate program. I'm betting that many of those excited homeowners are also finding out that they don't qualify. However, with the possibility of an $8000 check being waved around our noses, we'll all jump in and keep trying.

Lemmings. We're all lemmings.

P.S. Our accountant says that 80% of the rebate requests are currently being refused. Why am I not surprised?

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