Feb 6, 2008

F*CK the NJ Dept of T@xation

With whom I spent the better part of 3 hours dealing this afternoon.

Now, I was always taught that following the rules was every citizen's duty so, when I signed up to do a late-July 2007 craft fair in NJ, I registered with the NJ Dept of T@xation last April, to be effective at the end of July. I did the craft fair and, immediately upon my return to CT, filed my 3rd quarter sales and use tax return. I knew that I wasn't going to be doing anything else in NJ so why wait? I filed online, paid nearly $200 for the privilege of being registered to collect sales taxes on behalf of the State of NJ, got a confirmation number, printed the page, and a few days later the NJ Dept of T@xation deducted the tax due from my business checking account.

And that was that, right?

Well, until today. Today, I get a Notice of Deliquency from the NJ Dept of T@xation stating that I am in trouble for not filing my 3rd quarter sales and use tax return and am subject to penalties of $100 per month.
  • Reaction No. 1: freak out!!!
  • Reaction No. 2: cry!!!!
  • Reaction No. 3: go find my printed confirmation. Yes, I did pay the damn taxes.
  • Reaction No. 4: fury
  • Reaction No. 5: call the NJ Dept of T@xation.
Ok, you'd think this could be easily cleared up because I have a confirmation number? No. Of course not. They can't find it. I have to mail in copies. By now, I've been on the phone for nearly 1/2 hour and I have come to:
  • Reaction No. 6: get the fuck out of NJ and never do business there again
  • Reaction No. 7: look on the website for the NJ Dept of T@xation, get referred to the NJ Dept of Revenuee.
  • Reaction No. 8: find the form I think I need on the NJ Dept of Revenuee's website, discover the instructions are confusing.
  • Reaction No. 9: call the NJ Dept of Revenuee for clarification
Which means another long stint on hold. Fortunately, this time, I get a very helpful person on the other end. Unfortunately, she has to wrangle some computer miracles to allow me to cancel my registration in NJ - which, again, takes time. But, on the plus side, I do discover why the NJ Dept of T@xation thinks I didn't pay the 3rd 1/4 sales and use taxes - they mistakenly put my business start date as June 1 instead of July 28 and credited my form and payment to the 2nd quarter sales and use taxes. So, she changes the start date which she believes will take care of it but suggests I still send in the proof of payment like the NJ Dept of T@xation suggested. She also tells me that I have to file and pay for ($50) an annual return before I can cancel my registration. Never mind the fact that I haven't even been in business there a year yet and that form technically should not be due until April. If I want to cancel, I need to do it.

So, off I go to the NJGBS website to do so. Alrighty, back to the form that was giving me trouble, fortunately, the nice Revenuee lady gave me a phone number to call at the Business Registration Department. As I am on hold, my husband calls, twice, so I think there's a problem. I pick him up, there's no problem, so I tell him I can't talk. I click back and they've hung up.
  • Reaction No. 10: swear as loudly as I can without waking the napping toddler.
  • Reaction No. 11: call back. The line is busy.
  • Reaction No. 12: call back again. The line is busy.
  • Reaction No. 13: call back again. Yep, still busy.
Give up and fill out the form as best I can. Gather all the enclosures that need to go with the form. Write both letters, gather the enclosures that need to go with the letters. Call the husband back to get him to bring home certified mail slips (I mean, the people lost my online filing which they clearly received as the money disappeared from my checking account; I'm going to trust them to actually receive my mail?).
  • Reaction No. 14: Try the NJGBS people one more time. To my shock, get through. Confirm that I've filled the form out incorrectly.
  • Reaction No. 15: Recomplete the form, make copies, prep certified mail slips and envelopes, write the check for $125 to pay for the cancellation.
All that's left now is to go to the post office tomorrow and pay the shot to mail these things certified mail.

And if you're wondering what the total is I've paid so far to the Charming State of NJ? Let's see: $200 with the original filing, plus $75 to the state of CT for the certification that NJ required, then $50 for the annual report, and another $125 for the cancellation certificate. So that's, what, $450? Now, if they deem my 4th quarter payment to be late (nothing was due); there'll be another $100 on top of that. Oh, and, of course, the whopping $82 in sales tax I collected on their behalf.

So, yes, all my life I've played by the rules (with the occasional exception of the speed limit). But, you know, I'm starting to reconsider that because, clearly, in NJ, if you play by the rules, you get fucked over but good.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Harriet said...

Every time I've worked in New Jersey there has been some kind of tax-related fiasco. I'm glad to know it's not just me. I was starting to take it personally.

9:55 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

*stunned disbelief*

11:56 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

Here...

*hands PPG 2x4 of Doom*

What a fucking fiasco... even if you pay early, there should be some kind of box where you put which quarter the payment is supposed to be applied to... and that's what the application of payment should be based on, not the date of arrival of money.

4:43 PM  

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