Because There's Always a Bright Side | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, October 22, 2010

Because There's Always a Bright Side

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.

21 comments :

  1. This scared me.

    And then I kept reading and I totally agree -- a blessing in disguise. Great perspective!

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  2. what an awesome attitude, Lara! Wow, stuff like that BUGS! But you're right, the blessing came when you needed it :)

    I attended SUU way back when.... just for one quarter... I got engaged and moved to USU. But I loved SUU while I was there :)

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  3. I love bright sides - there is always one, in everything. Sometimes they are just harder to find.

    Great reminder.

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  4. You have a great attitude. This blogger would not be paying them back for their mistake.

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  5. Good for you! I'm with Kristina---I would have been way too annoyed to see the positive blessings received from this.

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  6. Heavenly Father always little financial surprises like that. Things work out that really never should have; crazy. Thanks for sharing this story.

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  7. You have an amazing attitude! I'd have a hard time turning that around and feeling blessed about it. But that's what makes you awesome! :)

    We just got a check from the state of Connecticut for overpaying. Hope they don't ask to be refunded in a few years! AHHH!

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  8. What a great way to look at it! I would have been less patient

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  9. I love your phrase, "winks from above." Thank you.

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  10. We just got our little surprise today! We went to go buy the sale loft bed that we could slide the toddler bed under and make a sort of bunk bed out of it for more room. (Kid #5 is due in six weeks) We couldn't buy it two weeks ago and had to wait for today's pay checks. The bed was still there, but so was the original staircase bunk bed we REALLY wanted but couldn't afford... ON SALE ($598.00 off!) plus they had a scratcher game promotion and I won a $25.00 gift card! We bought the bed we wanted and walked out of there talking about how the Lord made it so we'd have to wait for this other bed because they'd only just received it yesterday!

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  11. I love how often you recognize the hand of God. Every time you share these stories, I keep my eyes open a little wider and my heart a little softer. Thank you.

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  12. Really excellent way to look at this. Funny how the Lord can make things happen, huh?

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  13. Thanks for sharing this. What a great attitude.

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  14. I loved your closing paragraph...I'm applying that in my life right now. There always is a bright side.

    Even with taxes??

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  15. Just as long as they don't try to stick you with a penalty for their mistake. (Can you tell I don't have a lot of faith in these guys?)

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  16. Way to look for the silver lining.

    I'm glad the extra taxes aren't an astronomically scary amount.

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  17. I am always so quick to be defensive about those letters in the mail. My first instinct is to call and bawl someone out, to feel ripped off, and to cry.

    You, on the other hand, are a true grown-up lady.

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  18. I love your positive attitude about this little trial. Thanks for sharing, I loved this post.

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  19. Things will be OK in the end, because, as Virginia Woolf has said, ‎"They can because they think they can." And you can! :)

    PS: Love the winks from above.

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  20. phew. I was worried there for a minute.

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  21. That is definitely seeing the bright side of things. I'm tempted to stew a little bit just reading that post. I feel better that they aren't charging you a penalty for their mistake, though.

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