When you see an envelope with Arizona Department of Revenue ATTN: Collections Division in the return address, it can have a slightly terrifying effect. I know it struck terror in my heart when I saw it. I try so darned hard to do the right thing, and sometimes still get dinged.
It arrived in Thursday’s mail. It was addressed to Mr. A’s businesses.
I know I’m up to date on all his Transaction Privilege Tax reports. I am scheduling to do them the second weekend of each month and mail the check the next week, so I was certain everything was okay. But you never know with my memory. I might have thought I sent them, but didn’t. Maybe I made a mistake in my accounting.
So I take a deep breath, and open the envelope.
Inside is the “Accounts Receivable Demand Notice” and the following note, “Below is a summary of your current account balance. You balance is $.00. Further collection activity can be avoided by paying the amount due by 8/16/2009. If you do not understand this statement of need to arrange payments, please see the information on the back of this page. You failed to pay the fees required to register your business with the State of Arizona. This bill is for the balance of the fees owed. Your interest is calculated on a daily basis.”
I am so tempted to write a check from each company, for ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS and submit to them.
On the other hand, I’m a little bit peeved since it just so happens that my state is broke and hasn’t yet been able to agree to a budget for the current fiscal year. This is wreaking havoc with state funds being administered to agencies which depend on state government support.
And yet they can spend 33 cents sending me a collections notice which states that I owe exactly nothing. Not to mention the envelope, the paper and the ink, the wear and tear on the printer. I wonder how many thousands of letters they sent out where the recipient owed nothing.
I called yesterday, just to be sure all was well, but of course I was put on hold. After six minutes, I got tired of waiting and hung up. I will try calling back next week.