July 26, 2021

I wonder why I keep getting a busy signal from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

I'll bet I'm not the only person who got a letter on Saturday from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue that said:

Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Grant — Application Denied

Important: If you did not recently file a Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant Application with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, call us immediately at (608) 266-2772....

I hate the feeling of rejection, but it's annoying to get rejected when you didn't even apply... and then be agitated by the announcement that it's important to call the Department of Revenue "immediately," then to learn that you can't call on Saturday, to wait until Monday, and then to have the line endlessly busy.

But beyond this annoyance is my suspicion that the Department of Revenue considered every taxpayer with "small business" income as if they'd applied. If that's what they did, I don't like being treated as if I'd applied. And I really don't like having to worry that someone could be using my name to apply for a grant.

Here's a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from last May: "State to give 84,000 Wisconsin businesses $5,000 grants by end of June."

Gov. Tony Evers authorized $420 million, through funding received by the American Rescue Plan Act, to be distributed to businesses that apply by 4:30 p.m. on June 7.

Maybe they didn't get enough applications, and they needed to imagine them. If so, I'd like to know who got the money without applying. Not that I think my little business here deserves a $5,000 "rescue" grant. I just want to think that the Department of Revenue is a fair and orderly place, and I don't like being agitated by a weird letter and told to "immediately" call a number that is always busy. I can handle it well enough, but I doubt that I'm the only one who got this rejection letter.

UPDATE, Tuesday 1:50 p.m. — I finally got through and, after waiting on hold, was told the letter means that someone filed a fraudulent application using my name and that this has happened to thousands of people in Wisconsin. The application was denied, so there's nothing to do other than to know what I already know, which is that my information is out there to be used. 


Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

"Can you imagine putting Billions of dollars, no- make that Trillions- in the hands of these people? No, I can't either.

"Yet we do it. At every level, Federal, State, County, City. And even when they've run out of names to call faux programs that are designed to buy votes, they never run out of the money, just how to send it out. So...what better than a blanket notice sent out to all citizens of the State , telling them that 'we have money for free and we're just waiting for you to come ask for it'. Just fill out a few forms and you'll have another check. Just because you are you, and we are we- we can do this together.

"You know, this cannot last forever. Somehow this entire thing has to crumble under its own largesse and stupidity. Doesn't it?"


Ann Althouse said...

Washington Blogger writes:

"So, Althouse is sitting at the cafeteria, says something to the boy sitting next to her and he yells for everyone to hear "No, I will not go on a date with you." Rejected ,and she wasn't even asking that question.

"Evers is vote buying. He's got this large chunk of money to give away, but not enough takers, so he has to find more so he can say how many small businesses he rescued. That will help with the right leaning independent voter base.

"The busy phone number is because every small business "failed to apply" and they all called the number at the same time. A real investigative journalist would write an article about the debacle. I think the Althouse blog is the only place we will read about it."

I'll add:

I'll let you know if any journalists follow up with me, but really, I've given all I could say. They'd have to look to see if this is happening all over.

Ann Althouse said...

gpm writes:

"Where to begin.

""I wonder why I keep getting a busy signal."

"Without trying to sort out the rest of your post, have you EVER called a government phone number *WITHOUT* getting an eternal busy signal/hold?

"I tried calling the IRS a couple of times in the last year or so. After sitting on hold for at least an hour or so, I got a message that the office was closed for the day and you were SOL.This is what our taxes are paying for (or, since taxes/deficits no longer seem to matter, what they aren't paying for)."