You lucky readers have caught me in a ranting mood today. As in smoke-coming-out-of-my-ears ranting mood. All over eight dollars and five cents.
When Fish Tales came out, I purchased a box of them to re-sell. You see, the royalties for the sale of the book go to cancer research, so none of us authors made any money on it. However, by purchasing some books at discount through our wonderful local indy bookseller, Mystery Lovers Bookshop, I had the opportunity to sell a few copies, make a couple of bucks (to please my accountant), AND cancer research still gets the royalties.
All well and good. Except that I had to apply for a sales tax license.
No problem. I had a sales tax license years ago when Hubby and I ran a photography studio. I don’t remember any problems with the filing and payment procedure. Fill in the sales numbers, write a check, stick a stamp on the envelope, and mail it in.
Ha. Those were the good old days.
My license was denied. It seems I have to pay the money I’ve collected before I can get a license. Okay. The nasty letter I received said I could do this easily online or by phone. The problem is that they want my license number. The license I don’t have because I have to pay first. But I can’t pay without a number.
You see the conundrum?
I finally managed to file a return online, but the electronic payment refused to go through. I spent hours…literally HOURS…on the phone, being directed from one non-toll-free number to another. Each time I’d get a human, they’d say, “Oh, you have to call this other number.” I believe the process is known as PASSING THE BUCK.
My head was ready to explode. All because I owed eight dollars and five cents.
Did I mention the nasty letter? The one that stated tax liabilities may result in a criminal citation being issued against you???? WTF? For eight dollars and five cents???
Relax. I don’t need anyone to bail me out of jail. On day two of this saga, I finally (only two phone calls later—YAY!) was able to speak to a real person who seemed genuinely interested in resolving my problem and who didn’t treat me like I had the black plague. I wish I’d have caught his name. I’d send him a bottle of wine. Or a chocolate cake. Or both. He looked up my case, told me in very simple terms what the problem was and how to fix it. AND he gave me an address to use to send in my payment. Write a check. Stick a stamp on the envelope. Mail it in.
THIS I can do.
Sometimes progress just isn’t.