A few days ago, I received a letter from the IRS saying that I had not filed a certain form for my travel agency that specializes in Disney Vacations. While they were correct in what they claimed, I had understood from my own research and from consulting with a CPA that I was not required to file that form due to being in a community property state. So, as the letter requested, I picked up the phone, dreading the next several minutes as I figured I would have to be on the defensive because, let’s face it, who WANTS to call the IRS?
Then…it hit me. How many people call the IRS upset or incensed about the fact that they received an accusatory letter like I was about to do? I took a breath, realized that the person who was about to answer my call likely had nothing to do with sending me the nasty letter, and dialed the number.
When the voice answered, I simply explained that I had received this letter, and that I believed it was an error. She (the IRS rep) looked up my case, and guess what? I had received the letter because of an incorrect marking in my profile. She placed me on hold and in less than a minute, she returned to tell me that the error had been corrected and to throw away the letter. I would not be receiving any other inquiries about this. I thanked her, and we wished each other a pleasant evening.
Could that have gone differently? You bet! If I had gone in blazing mad over receiving the letter, I would not only have ruined her day, but I might have even met a negative response when inquiring about fixing the issue. The easy way in which the situation was handled was all in my attitude. Because I chose to treat the situation with a smile, I not only had the problem fixed, but I even got the IRS agent to laugh about how ridiculous computers can be. We both had a pleasant call because of a choice about how to approach the situation.
Make 2010 the year that you commit to a happy life and a positive attitude. Without one, you might wind up having to call the IRS a second time!