Usually I file taxes as soon as all of the appropriate paperwork comes in, which for the past few years has been in February. March is almost over and I still haven’t touched taxes this year. It really doesn’t surprise me, this whole year I’ve been behind on everything. My plan for this year was to file single, mostly because I desperately wanted to avoid going through the hassle of calling Brandon’s job, explaining the situation, bringing it all up again, to get his W2. I’m perfectly content staying in this strange “numb” stage I’ve been in for months, and I’m not ready to let it go yet. I also didn’t particularly want to go to the Health Department and have that same conversation again to get the final death certificate (I realize the death certificate is something I need to have for things in life from here on, but that was something I was going to avoid doing for a while).
I called Jackson Hewitt weeks ago, explained the situation, and asked if I could file single. The sweet lady went all, “Oh honey, but it would be a bigger refund if you file as married”. I. Don’t. Care. I just wanted to file single. The lady finally said that it would be okay. So today, on my day off, I go to the tax office, lay out all of my papers, and we get started on taxes. That all quickly comes to a halt when yet another sweet lady informs me that I need to have Brandon’s social, W2, and death certificate. Why, I ask, I’m filing single. Long story short, apparently if you’re married and you are both alive, you can file separately, the IRS doesn’t bat an eye. But if you were married and one of you is dead, you HAVE to file married. What the hell? I’m so angry right now I want to punch things.
It would seem that the first question their computer systems asks is “Were you married at the end of 2013?” For me, that answer is no. The very next question is “Were you widowed in 2011, 2012, or 2013?” Well, why yes, yes I was. THEN the computer demands to know the spouse’s social, W2, and ID (well, hey, his driver’s license is invalid, since you know, he’s dead and all. But that’s okay, they’ll take a death certificate instead.) There is no way to skip over, avoid, or not include that information. The tax lady said that we skip it today, but eventually the IRS would contact me and ask me to do an amended tax return, which would be $69, that includes Brandon’s W2. The way I see it, I have no choice but to file as married. Which pisses me off because that is not what I want to do. I don’t want to go get his death certificate. I don’t want to call his job and jump through whatever hoops to get the W2.
So I angrily drove back home. I dug up the piece of paper I scratched a phone number on days ago, because Brandon’s old coworker gave me the number he thought I would need to get his tax information. I just kind of tossed that paper somewhere, because hey, I wasn’t going to worry about that for a while. So, after being relieved that I actually found that piece of paper, I call the number. Surprise, surprise, the lady I need to talk to, who is apparently the ONLY person at that office who can help me with this, has gone home. She is only there for a few hours in the morning. Lucky me gets to call back again tomorrow, and give my sad little story to yet another person.
Ugh. I so didn’t want to do any of this shit. It’s not bad enough that Brandon is dead, that the marriage I thought I was going to have is nonexistent, that the reason he is dead is because he got stupid drunk one day, put a gun up to his neck, and pulled the trigger. No, I now have to deal with finding his W2. Only because he’s dead and the IRS apparently can’t look up the information themselves.
Now I’m in tears, angry, and emotionally all over the place. I think it’s total crap that married people can file separately if they want to, but apparently widowed people can’t.
I realize the legal reasons for all this, but I’m too upset to see them clearly right now.