by Eric Miller
received a notice from the Tax Department stating
that a review of his return indicated that he
owed them an additional $350. Something didn't
sound right to Carl, so he asked a friend to
recommend an accountant.
the guy for you," his friend said. "My
friend Bob just opened an office. He's a tax
attorney and an accountant."
think I'm small potatoes," Carl replied with
a regular guy, and he needs the business,"
his friend assured.
call you Bob?, Carl asked, upon entering Bob's
office, which was a small, dark, dingy hole in a
name is Robert, pronounced in the French manner."
Row-bare it is. Listen, I think the Tax
Department is mistaken. I honestly believe that I
do not owe them more money."
you do, or whether you don't, we'll fight them
hard and win."
mean Row-bare, I'm not looking for a war here. It
sounds like I'll end up owing you more for your
services than I owe them."
we're talking about fairness, justice and, most
importantly, victory. It would be sinful to pay
the government money to which it was not entitled."
do I owe them the money or not?"
find out, soon enough."
don't you know, now?," Carl asked, perplexed.
never be sure, "Robert stated, in a lawyerly
sort of way."
should just pay it. How much do I owe you?"
my good friend. Let me handle this," Robert
stated with amazing confidence.
months, Robert, giddy with excitement, called
Carl to tell him that the they had won, and that
the Tax Department had apologized for its mistake.
Carl was not
surprised to receive Robert's bill, although he
found it ironic that he had to pay Robert $500 to
save $350. But then he remembered Robert
passionately stating those words he had told him
before: "Nonsense, we're talking about
fairness, justice, and most importantly, victory.
It would be sinful to pay the government money to
which it was not entitled."
later, and no longer living near Robert's office,
Carl received a letter from the Tax Department,
for which he called Robert for advice.
I mean Row-bare, the Tax Department wants me, or
my representative, to meet with them for an
audit in their offices up here. Can you handle
this from down there?"
mon ami, just write to them and request that they
transfer your records from their office up there
to their office down here, where I can represent
and handle everything for you."
that be a problem?"
very common," Robert said.
to worry about?"
not. Usually in the transfer of records to
another office, everything gets lost, and we
never hear about it again."
He was right
and, not surprisingly, his bill for the transfer
advice was higher than the amount in question for
France," Carl thought.