Another Bewildering Encounter with the I.R.S.

I told the story of how the IRS had, for reasons it would not reveal, modified my income tax return to erase my personal exemption.

I called to ask about this, listened to several minutes of the Nutcracker Suite, was probed for revealing information that might help their collection process, and then given no useful information at all.

So I filed a 1040x to try to reinstate my personal exemption. Since then I haven’t heard anything from them.

Today, I went to Where’s My Stimulus Payment to see what feedback that site gives to folks like me whose stimulus payment is likely to be confiscated for unpaid back taxes.

In order to check on the status of your stimulus payment, you have to enter your social security number, your filing status, and the number of exemptions on your return. When I did this, I got the message “We are sorry. Specific information about your Stimulus Payment is not available.” Possibly because “The information entered did not match our records.”

So, remembering that they seemed to be confused about my personal exemption, I tried again, entering zero for my exemptions. This time I got the message “You did not qualify for the Stimulus payment because you were claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.”

Fantastic. So I call the IRS again. I tap in a bunch of numbers to bushwhack through their phone menu, then listen to 22 more minutes of Nutcracker Suite. Agent Calloway comes on and asks me a set of identifying questions and then, after putting me on hold for about four minutes, is completely unable to help me in any way. She doesn’t know how many exemptions I have in my current tax record, doesn’t have any record of anyone else claiming me as a dependent, doesn’t know if my 1040x has been received and processed — nothing. She suggests I try calling back .