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I'm unemployed.  But, unlike so many other unfortunates here on DailyKos and around the United States, I have been hired, pending a pre-employment drug-screen, and will be working again (hopefully) in 7-10 days once they finish processing it.  During the tax season just passed, I had to file two out of state tax refund forms because my previous employers deducted taxes in part in Minnesota (my previous address) and in Washington DC - because nobody in their HR department warned me I had to submit a request for exemption from DC taxes at a worksite in DC, when my residence is in Virginia.  They also wouldn't change it or refund the taxes or reallocate them to Virginia.  Follow me over the fold to the cautionary tale which is the fate of those who don't understand how taxation works here in the 'reciprocity' zone of the US Capitol.  If you come to work and live here - don't let this happen to you!

Minnesota has an online tax refund status check site, where I have been dutifully checking ever since the initial tax filing I made back on April 16, and every time I have checked there it said "Still Processing" and "Please do not contact us by phone unless 90 days have passed."  That told me not to expect a refund check of how much THEY owe me until sometime around mid-July.  However, when I checked their site today the website cheerfully informed me they may complete processing of my refund sometime around August 25 and expect a refund check "within 30 days" of that date.  Well, it's cold up there, they're slow.  Very unsatisfying but nonetheless I got an update.

Not so with Washington DC.  "Refunds are generally issued within 7-10 days of filing" - is a complete fantasy for DC I'm afraid.  In addition to having to file my Non-Resident Request for Refund, I had to include my W-2, and a copy of my Virginia state tax return, which I dutifully did, with my estimated filing date (May 2 - which is when Virginia state taxes are due.)  But - no refund, no update, and their IVR (Interactive Voice Response System) said "We are processing your refund."  Driven by the desperation of a shrinking bank account and an uncertain start date, I bit the bullet and stayed on the phone for Customer Service, and - good thing I did.

Oh yes, they have my D-40B all right.  Yep, looks in order, all ready.  But they are going to need a certified copy of my Virginia state tax return.

I already sent them a copy of my Virginia state tax return, as well as my W-2.  Not good enough.  She said "don't worry, just get that certified copy - to prove you filed - and we should issue your refund - in 7-10 business days!  You can even fax it!!!  Wow - good news!  What's the fax number, Mateal?

Oh you have to phone back for that.  I saw red.  "Ummm I spent an hour on hold just to get you on the phone the first time, are you saying I have to phone you back, wait on hold for ANOTHER HOUR so you can give me the fax number?"

"Yes, for security reasons, because I don't have a fax machine on my desk."

&(&(&)(!@!!

Fine okay, how long could it take?  Thanks Mateal... (yes that was her name).  And.... now off to Virginia State Tax office.  Sure hope they have my return!  "the office is now closed... but we now have an online customer service chat system available 8:30 to 8 p.m.!"  Oh cool.  Online chat.

I'll let you read the rest verbatim:

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
Hello Taxpayer. Thank you for contacting us via Live Chat. How may I help you?

Taxpayer:
I need to get a certified copy of my 2010 state tax return so i can get my refund from Washington DC in order to pay my tax.

Taxpayer:
they won't accept my copy

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
I'll be glad to assist you with this Ms. Taxpayer. If you would, please verify your mailing address as well so I may complete pulling up your VA Tax Account.

{redacted)

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
I've submitted a request for a copy of the transcript to be sent to you. You will receive it within two weeks.

Taxpayer:
why does it take so long? i am now unemployed and have outstanding bills i have to pay, and they won't accept a non certified copy. i just found this out

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
It's the processing time for this specific request.

Taxpayer:
what a terrible system. and what do i do if it doesn't come in 2 weeks? what do i do then?

Taxpayer:
can't this be faxed to me? they said get virginia to fax it, why can't you fax it

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
The VA Department of Taxation does not fax sensitive information I'm afraid.

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
Sorry about that inconvenience.

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
If the information is not received within that time, you can contact us back.

Taxpayer:
what a comfort.

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
Is there anything I may be able to further assist you with today?

Taxpayer:
not unless you can get this done sooner before i run out of money.

Mr. Customer Service Rep:
Okay. Thank you for choosing Live Chat. Please have a wonderful day!

Mr. Customer Service Rep:

Operator has left chat

Chat session closed

And what a wonderful day I am having!  Taxpayers, if you move to the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area, before you finish doing your employment paperwork, make sure you know which entity you are owed taxes to:  Virginia, DC, or Maryland.  If you work in Washington DC and live outside of the District, fill in an EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE FOR WASHINGTON DC taxes.

Or you'll end up sitting on hold waiting for Mateal to give you a fax number sometime next June.

If anyone here knows a Virginia congressman - oh wait, silly me, this is a red state isn't it? never mind....  I'll be LUCKY if I get a certified copy of my tax return in two weeks.

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