PALATKA, Fla. - It is an institution many Americans love to hate, a bureaucracy that seem to have no end.
Many of the complaints about the IRS center around the human elements. Many say it has no compassion, no empathy, no understanding. Kaye Sproull said she now believes all that she's heard.
"They don't seem to care," she said. John and Kaye Sproull were married 50 years, and then he became very ill.
"It was hard," she said. "I don't know if you've seen anyone dying of Agent Orange?" John served in Vietnam, and he served his Palatka community before he passed away March 2017.
"I'm doing alright," she said.
Three days after his death she received a letter/notice from the IRS. It stated he owed the IRS $100 as part of
an installment agreement and it was not paid.
Sproull was surprised to see the $100 payment was not $550, an increase of five times, because it was late.
"I can be volatile," she said, "but I called my children and they told me to calm down."
She called the IRS 1040 hotline to explain her husband's death and the reason for the payment being late but said that did not help.
"It was just obscene," she said, "the woman got meaner and meaner. She couldn't understand why one of us couldn't run out and pay the bill."
The bill is for the 2011 tax season; her husband owed $1,300 and has paid much of it. Sproull said she was hoping the IRS would understand and worked with her in paying the tax debt.
"She never offered to help me," she said.
Apparently when her husband missed the March payment, because he was on his dying bed, the IRS declared him in default of the agreement.
"It made me mad that the interest charge was almost half of the loan," she said.
She wants to pay the debt, she is not trying to avoid it, but Sproull wants the IRS to work with her and she feels the agency owes her an apology.
"I would pay a fine of a couple hundred dollars because it was late," said Sproull, "but they owe everybody an apology that they've ever treated like they treated me."
A spokesperson said that while she cannot discuss the specifics of the case, she strongly urge Sproull to reach out to the IRS and enlist the help of a Taxpayer's Advocate.