This is a tale of getting lost, encountering enchanted characters, and finding one’s way home again. Today, Stuart and I are drove the 4 hour roundtrip to Charlotte for a time-bending 7 hours to visit our nearest IRS Tax Service Center that verifies documents (Stuart’s passport) for w-7 applications. “Wait,” you may ask, “Isn’t there a service center in Asheville?” Why, yes, but they don’t verify documents. Apparently, it takes special training or something. The w-7 is necessary in order for an alien to obtain a tax id number which is then only good for a limited time. A tax id number is necessary for Stuart to be added to my bank accounts. I’d like Stuart added to make bank accounts should anything happen to me. It’s a spousal thing. Reasonable, no?
Unfortunately, when I printed off the directions from Google, I did not realize they had me going south via 1-26 to Charlotte. I assumed I would be heading east on 1-40. So here’s me…”duh, where the hell is 1-85″ the nearer and nearer we got to Winston-Salem. Then I looked at the directions again and realized what a dork I had been. By some miracle, I had a Charlotte map tucked behind the seat in the car from a trip I made a couple of years ago. So we then backtracked on 1-40 back to 77 and headed into Charlotte that way. Traffic was horrible, and if the IRS could have found a more secluded, forest location to help tax payers, I’m sure they would have.
After being searched by a very thorough security guard, we took a number and were called shortly thereafter by a very jolly, very-high-on-prescription-pain-killers (he’d hurt his back) taxman. He introduced himself two or three times and proceeded to ask us if we had any questions about Stuart’s eligibility, another two or three times. He asked if we’d been to the Asheville Service Center.
Well, no, they don’t certify documents.
I know! I know they don’t. I work there sometimes. Love it there. So do you have any questions about your eligibility for a tax id number?
Nope. Just want to get this passport verified.
Stuart made a couple of mistakes on the form which seemed to make the taxman suspicious…one mistake being forgetting to reverse the month and day. In Europe, they write the day first followed by the month. Fortunately, the taxman had a magical little white-out stick. We didn’t know the applicable ‘treaty number’, but when I asked, the taxman said we didn’t need it. That made me suspicious.
It took about a half hour. He let us know it could take six weeks, and that they might ask for additional information (that treaty number, with my luck) at that time if they had any questions. We tried to give him a copy of the marriage certificate, but he wouldn’t take it. I had unfortunately forgotten to print my cover letter, and since he kept everything to mail himself, there was nothing I could do about that. Hopefully, the IRS will be able to draw its own reasonable conclusions about the exemption and request based on the letter from my bank…which I did remember to bring.
We’ll see how it goes come six weeks.
It was a stressful day (I’m still on the downhill slide with a nasty cold, and Stuart is finally recovering from one) so we followed the papadum crumbs we had sprinkled for ourselves earlier and stopped off at India Garden on the way back into Asheville. Nothing like a good curry to soothe the soul.