Monday, August 29, 2005

Bringing a little joy to an IRS agent

Several months ago with the help of my attorney friend, Mitch Kinglsey, and dozens of hours of work, I completed a 20+ page form to apply for 501(c)(3) status for Evergreen Leaders--such status makes it clear that people who make gifts to EGL can take tax deductions.

Six weeks ago I received a phone message from a Miss Johnson. I couldn't understand what company she was with and when I returned the phone call it turned out she was from the IRS.

She needed another document for our application. I faxed it to her.

A CPA friend had warned me to expect such a call, that the IRS often calls several times to ask for more information. I waited for another call.

Two weeks ago we received our letter declaring us a 501(c)(3) organization. I e-mailed Mitch to thank him and shared the good news with the EGL board. I thought: I should thank Miss Johnson too. A few minutes ago I did.

When I first told her who I was I could sense the coolness in her voice as she wondered what I wanted. "Filling out that form was a lot of work for me and I'm sure it was a lot of work for you too," I said, "So I wanted to thank you for all your work."

"Did you get your letter?" she asked.

"Yes, we received it and we were really happy. Thank you for your work."

Her voice warmed right up. She expressed her appreciation for my thanks, we chatted for a few moments, and then hung up.

It's a great day when you can bring a little joy to an IRS agent.