Archive for September, 2021


Well, I tried!

I have a small (tiny) business doing freelance writing, something to bring in a little extra money in retirement. Things started to pick up in 2021, so I thought it a good idea to pay quarterly taxes on the earnings to avoid any problems down the line.

Seriously, I tried.

Three times today I tried to use the IRS’ online payment system (they use third-party vendors), and three times my credit card was declined. The first two times I called VISA — no problem with my account. They did say, however, I had entered the CVV number wrong. Weird, since I use a password manager and form filler that’s had no problem in the past. So, I tried a second time and double-checked the information.

Declined again.

I called VISA and, this time, they said the expiration date was wrong: I had input 01 for the month instead of 10. Except… That’s also filled by the password manager. So, I tried a third time.

Declined again.

This time I noticed something that gave me a possible explanation: for the month, they use month names – January, &c. So, my form filler correctly chose “October.” But, I have some experience with databases, and I wonder if the lookup table that stores the date information has October miscoded as “01,” a typo in the coding, that it then feeds to VISA, triggering an error.

I bet that’s what it is. It figures that the same government that hired the people who designed the Obamacare web site would would hire people who would miscode dates, too.

Regardless, three times is enough. After checking VISA to make sure no charges went through, I filled out a paper form and mailed a check.

But I did want those Amazon points, danggit.

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