Hope it’s not a Louisiana chain gang…


Aw man, this could be really bad.

I’m talking Sing Sing. Or maybe Leavenworth. They might reopen Alcatraz just for me. I don’t believe they’re going to let me off with just a few nights in the Starkville City Jail.

I got a letter from the IRS.

The first page laid out the purported crime. The next six outlined in great detail the scores of penalties if I didn’t comply (read send in the money I had purposely and willfully withheld from them - like it was their money to start with) by noon of the day BEFORE I received the letter!

The official Notice Name was CP14. I had never heard of it or seen one in my whole life. But I’m pretty sure the P stood for penalty. It informed me in the most formal way they had not received payment for my 2020 Tax Return.

My stomach immediately tied itself in a knot. Sweat beads magically appeared on my brow. My hands were not exactly shaking… but little tremors begin tickling the outer extremity of each finger.

They had added, naturally, interest and assorted penalties to the original amount they claimed I owed.

Al Capone leaped into my mind. Listen, he had thousands at his beck and call. Most of them carried guns! The Chicago Police didn’t bring him down for racketeering. Nor did the Feds get him for distributing illegal alcohol. Although there’s a good chance he did both!

He was deemed untouchable; and quite possibly the most powerful man in America in the 1930s. He absolutely ruled the roost… until the IRS sent him to prison for income tax evasion.

Good golly America! I don’t have a chance…

There is one small fact in my IRS inquisition that seems to be completely overlooked by the person in charge of the CP 14 notices. I sent in my supposedly “owed” money way back on March 26. It is a tad baffling. I figure the March date, by any account you measure by, was way before the April 15 deadline. Surely they can’t “come after me” for a snafu not of my making.

But who am I up beside Al Capone…

I have always paid. Every year. On time. Without (official) complaint. I have done so for the past 50-plus years. Shouldn’t that count for something? Don’t these people keep records? Where is my benefit of the doubt?

I’ve been charged, convicted, penalized and interest added!

The only thing that could have gone wrong was if the Postal Service didn’t get the check to them. Oh my goodness, we don’t need two government agencies involved.

I worked for the Post Office in McKenzie, Tennessee, in the summer of 1965. I didn’t “man the front counter” or “put up” mail or anything like that. Mostly I unloaded trucks, which meant hauling in those large heavy canvas Domestic No. 3 Mail Bags.

Porter Dunlap, Hot Shot Lewis and Mr. Oscar Owen did most of the mail filing. They knew everybody in town. And they were serious as a heart attack about getting every single piece of mail to every single person or entity to which it was supposed to go.

Experience here made me leery that the Post Office was at fault. And that was confirmed upon the ninth reading of the aforementioned CP 14 Notice. I finally caught the following small print, “Our records show you filed your 2020 Form 1040 with an amount owed.”

So they admit they got my 2020 Form 1040! The check for the “amount owed” was in the same envelope. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was thinking a five-year-old could tell there were two pieces of paper in any envelope they happen to be tearing in to!

I called the IRS number listed on page three.

I won’t bore you with the 45-minute wait. You’ve been there. I never got a real person. But eventually I got their final word on the phone call. They, or it, or some talking machine informed me that all their “people” were tied up with other customers and that I should call back tomorrow.

I called back tomorrow. And had the same 45-minute wait! And had the same person, machine or “thing” tell me all their “people” were tied up with other customers and to call back tomorrow…

Mindboggling. Scary. And seemingly without recourse. Cathy is already planning a going away party.

If you can’t fight City Hall, what chance do you have against the IRS!

My only regret now is that I didn’t go into bootlegging. I might have earned enough money to fight this thing….

See You In 10 to 15,



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