The good financial news in 2014 was a merger and a one-time special dividend. The bad news was not factoring the good news into quarterly income tax payments. The result of the financial good news / bad news? An argument with Mrs. Cranky of course.
Was the argument about money? Was the argument about my failure to pay enough quarterly so we did not have a nasty end-of-the-year surprise? No, that would be too easy. The argument was about how I mailed my payment.
The accountant gave us a prefilled bill and envelope to send to the IRS along with the check. His instructions said not to use a staple to attach the check to the bill but be sure to put your social security number on the check. I followed these instructions, but to be extra safe I paper clipped the check to the bill.
When Mrs. C picked up the envelope to mail it she, Sherlock Holmes that she is, immediately felt the paperclip.
“Why is there a paperclip in the envelope?”
“Because I clipped the check to the bill so they would be processed together.”
“But the instructions said not to staple the check to the bill.”
“Staple, clip, same thing.”
“No, the staple causes tears, so they don’t want staples.”
“Well the paperclip sticks out. It will catch in the machines the post office uses or the machines the IRS uses.”
“Just what machines are they, special machines to rip to shreds the paperwork of anyone who does not follow the attachment directions to the letter?”
“There are machines.”
“And these machines have special claws so if there is a paperclip they maul all the contents?”
“They say no clips!”
“No, they say no staples. Just mail the damn thing it will be fine.”
“OK, but if that paperclip gets stuck in the machine and tears everything to shreds there will be an IRS fine!”
“Great, now I’m depressed about getting hit with a short payment AND I have to worry about a machine and a damn paperclip!”
I checked my account today, and the check has cleared. I swear Mrs. C seemed disappointed when I told her.