Yesterday I was supremely bugged at the Utah State Tax Commission or whatever you're supposed to call the people who collect your income tax.
We got a letter that said we did our 2007 (yes, that's three years ago) taxes incorrectly. They had the numbers we supposedly submitted in one column with the numbers we should have submitted in another column. We were to either agree or disagree with their assessment and send the form back in. Of course, if we didn't agree with them, we would have to send them our entire Federal return from that year, including all worksheets, W-2's and our first-born child. If we agreed on their version of the numbers, well, then we would have to pay more taxes.
So, I stewed about the whole thing while I was sitting in my children's music lessons, then I came home and hurriedly found our 2007 tax return.
And guess what?
The numbers we originally filed matched the CORRECT numbers in the letter we received. I couldn't fathom where the other numbers had come from, especially since it had us claiming 7 exemptions when we clearly only have 5 people living in our home and only have access to those same 5 Social Security numbers.
And then I remembered something important. Back in December of 2008, when Joel had just lost his adjunct job at SUU, the Utah State Tax Commission sent us a letter telling us we had done our 2007 state income taxes incorrectly (sound familiar?) and they were refunding us $182.00. That amount isn't gigantic, but it made a huge difference to us due to our financial circumstances at the time.
So yesterday, when I got off the phone with the guy at the tax commission, I was annoyed. Because what I found out was that they had lost the first page of our tax return when we originally filed it. Instead of sending us a letter asking us to resubmit that first page, they just decided to do the worksheet themselves. But they did it wrong, thought we had overpaid and so they cut us a check. But as it turns out, three years later, they finally realized that it was done wrong and now we owe them the same $182.00 that they had "refunded" us before. Kind of a mess.
But then I got to thinking about it more, and I'm not bothered anymore. That check was clearly a blessing when we received it. A wink from above, telling us that all would be well. We have the money to pay them back now, annoying as it may be, but it's there. They aren't giving us some sort of a penalty for being three years late with this money. All will still be well, and the Lord is in charge. He made it so we could get a little loan from the State Tax Commission when we needed it most, didn't He? He got us through this summer on no paycheck whatsoever, didn't He? And He has now provided several ways for us to pay this little bit back without it hurting us financially.
Whatever our trials are, be they financial as they often are at our house, or otherwise, there is always a little bright side. Always a way to see the Lord's hand as you go through it, or maybe three years later. Always little winks from above, letting us know that things really will be okay in the end.
And that is comforting to know.