Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dear Paulius, America Hates You. Signed America.

You know, my life has become one never-ending shit-storm of paperwork.

Since moving to the USA, and dealing with immigration, it feels like I’ve had to fill out a form for every single aspect of my life:

“Taking a dump, sir? Then you’ll need to fill out form A27B, in triplicate, and we’ll need one unicorn tail hair along with the elbow skin of a left handed Bulgarian tennis player with an astigmatism in his left eye to accept it. What’s that? Tacos? Well, you’ll need the supplementary ‘Montezuma’s Revenge’ form also.”

Ok, I’m exaggerating, but not by much.

My personal favourite was the “Registration form to Register the fact you’re not Registered” tax form I had to fill out last year.

You see, I’m not allowed to work yet in the USA, so I’m not registered with the tax service. Of course, Sunny tried to file her taxes with me as her spouse, but we couldn’t, unless I registered the fact I wasn’t registered.

That’s right. I’m not in the tax system, so they know nothing about me…so I have to register that fact with them. I’ve heard of having to prove I am something or have something…but never having to prove to someone that they know nothing about me. It’s like taking an exam in reverse:

“Write, in detail, everything you don’t know about quantum physics. Use a separate sheet if required.”

I mean what kind of sick twisted mind comes up with something like this?

“Hmmm, Mr. Tax, this person isn’t in our system!”

“How do you know?”

“He’s, uhhh, not in the system, Sir. We have no record of him.”

“Well, that just won’t do. Has he filled out the form that says that we know nothing about him?”

“No, sir.”

“Then how do you know that we know nothing about him?”

“Because we don’t, sir.”

“Just because we don’t know anything about him doesn’t mean we don’t know anything about him!”

“Doesn’t it?”

“Nope, this is the IRS, the greatest Bureaucracy in the world! If there’s not a form or a bit of paper, it does not exist!”

“But in this case, sir, our records DON’T exist!”

“Ah, but the fact they don’t exist should be documented!”

“So you want a record of the fact that there’s no record?”

“Exactly.”

“But if we make a record to prove there’s no record, there WILL be a record, because we’ll have made a record to record there’s no record…which will mean that the record of there being no record will be false, because there will be a record…That will mean we’ll have to remove the record in order to make the record that there is no record true, which will mean there’ll be no record, so we’ll have to make a rec…Oh dear, I’ve gone cross eyed.”

"Cross eyed?"

“Logical Paradox, sir. I’ve only been here a few years, I’m not immune yet.”

“Whatever, so where’s the record that shows we have no record?”

“There isn’t one, Sir. We have no record of him, you see?”

“Well, get him to send us a nice long form. A record that proves he has no record. Make a record of it…and make sure to make a record of the record that records that he has no record.”

“Isn’t that a lot of pointless paperwork, sir?”

“Yes. Yes it is.”

Anyway, last year, we never got that form completed, because after we sent it off, with notarized copies of every bit of ID I own, they said that wasn’t good enough, and they needed the originals of my supporting documents.

That’s right, they wanted me to send them my passport…the one with my Visa in it. The one that if it gets lost means I get deported. The Passport I need to show to immigration at a moments notice.

Basically, it wasn’t worth the risk.

This year, however, the tax service decided that there weren’t quite enough spanners in the workings of my life, and decided to fuck with me.

You see, last year, Sunny filing as single meant we missed out on a hundred dollars or so on our refund. This year, if she files as a single person, it means a hefty tax BILL. Let’s just say more than $500, less than $1000.

However, there’s no way in hell we’re sending my passport through the tax system, where it can get lost.

This means we actually have to drive to the IRS office and register the fact I’m not registered, in person.

I mean, why? Why the hell do I need to give them a form to swear I’m not in the tax system? If I was in the tax system, they’d know…I’d be in the sodding system!

Why can’t we do it the other way? Why can’t I demand that the tax system or immigration send me their passports, so I can be sure that I’m not sending my information to an imposter?

Everything’s ass-backwards. Like if a Bank goes under and loses all your money, it’s tough luck. If you owe the bank money, and can’t pay it, you go to jail. If you underpay your tax, you’re in the shit…if you over-pay, they can pay you whenever they feel like it. You turn up late for work, you get it in the neck…your paycheck’s late? Tough shit.

…and what can I do about it? What can I do to make a difference?

Absolutely sod all.

4 comments:

MC Etcher said...

If one of those robotic space probes from the original Star Trek read this post, they wouldn't make it past the third paragraph before they self-destructed.

I hope all this stupid red tape is sorted out soon!

OzzyC said...

Welcome to America

Kato said...

That's what we get for letting Vogons run the Internal Revenue Service.

W & W said...

You have the patience of a saint but it won't help....

America...love it.. or leave it.

Vogons are all we have to work with -Enjoy!