Saturday, February 13, 2010


Nancy's mother, Beulah Wasserman, died four years ago; her father, Joe, followed his wife of 65 years into the great beyond in 2008. They lived a rich, happy life, and their family and countless friends mourned their passings, grieved for an appropriate length of time, but then, as we must, moved on.

All but the IRS, which went into a state of total denial. Having been duly informed of their deaths by Nancy, who as the eldest daughter took on the task of dealing with the estate and related matters, the IRS decided to stonewall. Letters addressed to Buelah and Joe Wasserman appeared regularly, demanding information -- why had they not filed tax returns? Had they changed domiciles? -- and making veiled threats: you are liable to penalties if you do not etc. etc.

Nancy dutifully replied to each missive, explaining in language that any child could grasp that the taxpayers in question were deceased. Last month, another letter arrived (by this time the IRS seemed to believe that B & J had cunningly taken refuge in East Hampton with us) that said, essentially, Prove it! Send us the death certificates! We'll send them back when we're convinced they're genuine.

So I scanned the death certificates and Nancy mailed them off to Washington. Today, an envelope arrived from the IRS with the certificates in them. It was addressed to Beulah and Joseph Wasserman.

1 comment:

  1. you know, it's not often that one gets to become a character in a real live kafka story. Or maybe it's absurdist drama. Or a Robert Coover what-the-hell-is-the-point short story. In any case, it bodes ill for the whole "let's reform government." Email this post to the white house.