Young Woman in Shock After Finding Note from the Internal Revenue Service in Letter from Grandpa
Heard of “Forosophobia?”
Well, according to a tweet from Bookkeep, “Forosophobia is fear of taxes and the IRS. This specific phobia has common side effects including procrastination, avoidant behaviors, extreme anxiety, and even feelings of helplessness.”
Wow! And here’s more. According to Lexington Law, 1 in every 4 Americans live in fear of audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
Why such fear, when in fact the chances of being audited by the IRS are very low? A recent report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of the Syracuse University stated that, for the fiscal year 2022, the IRS audited 3.8 out of every 1,000 returns, or a mere percentage of 0.38%.
Danielle Seurkamp, an award-winning Certified Financial Planner, pointed out in her article for Forbes that the phobia was fueled by stories about Al Capone and frightening voicemails from scammers. These fraudsters have been exploiting people’s fear of being thrown in jail by agents of this incredibly powerful government agency.
Karla Dennis, an enrolled agent and founder of Karla Dennis and Associates, also shared these truthful words with CNBC. “People are scared to death of the IRS. They don’t understand how the system works, and so they’re extremely fearful of audits.”
My, my. The fear of the unknown. People pay taxes yearly, guided by the US tax code that they don’t completely understand. The best defense they can do to shield themselves from highly-expensive and time-consuming IRS audits is to keep years and years of tax records. IRS itself advises taxpayers to keep records from three years ago or longer.
Now, you can just imagine the whirlwind of emotions that this Original Poster — a young woman named Rachel from Kansas City — felt when she received a mail with a check from her grandpa — taped around the edges and accompanied by a note from the IRS!
But astonishment felt stronger than her fear since the note read,
“Misdirected Mail Opened by the IRS
The enclosed correspondence was misdirected to us by the Post Office.
The large volume of mail we receive daily is first opened by machine. Therefore, your enclosed envelope was opened before we discovered that it was not addressed to the Internal Revenue Service.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused you.”
She decided to post the IRS note on Reddit’s r/mildlyinteresting under the username Hurricat. Yes, quite interesting and mysterious. But she did verify the notice number, and it corresponded with the IRS code for misdirected mails.
As her story got published on Newsweek, Rachel commented, “The most likely theory I’ve seen is that it got stuck to another piece of mail. Some other people seemed to think it was a scammer opening mail looking for cash, but considering it ended up in my mailbox somewhat intact eventually makes me think it was just a genuine accident.”Whizzco