Esther and I got a scary piece of mail yesterday. The fine folks at the Internal Revenue Service sent our entire tax return back to us. Minus the accompanying check, of course.
A cover sheet said we had failed to sign the return, which we filed on a timely basis in October.
That sounds easy to fix, except for one thing: we did sign the return. If you turn to the second page of the return where it says “SIGN HERE,” you will see fine examples of both of our signatures. (You’ll just have to trust me on this – somehow I don’t feel like posting a scanned image of our tax return.)
So what happened? Our best guess, echoed by several others, is that the IRS thinks one of our signatures is photocopied.
They are not. Esther and I make a point of signing the tax form together. But this year we used a fine black pen (the Uniball Deluxe Micro, usually highly-recommended). It’s an excellent writing instrument but, to be fair to the IRS, the resulting signatures could be mistaken as photocopied. (Dear IRS: It would be nice if you mentioned this on the cover sheet.)
But, let me repeat again, they are not. Our signatures are originals. Part of me is tempted to go all CSI and find a lab to confirm that. But I think we will settle for a friendly note to the IRS.
And we will sign the returns again, this time in blue ink. Maybe with a Paper Mate Flair.