Why It’s Great to Live in Duluth – Clean Air

July 4th, 2011

I grew up in Northwestern Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!), but I recently moved to Duluth, Minnesota from the Twin Cities metro area.

Other day, while out for a run, I thought to myself, “The air is better here…”

Better than the air on the busy streets of the Twin Cities? Definitely. Better than air in the beautiful countryside of rural Wisconsin? I hesitantly decided yes.

There is something refreshing about the air in Duluth. It feels good to breathe in Duluth. The air is fresh – I feel like I’m the first one to breathe this air as it rolls up the hills from Lake Superior.

I found an article to back up my own personal feeling of fresh air in Duluth: 10 U.S. Cities With the Cleanest Air on Health.com.

Small size, remote location, and cold weather conspire to make Duluth one of only seven cities in the U.S. to make it on the list for both lowest year-round particle pollution and ozone levels.

Other cities that make the list according to the American Lung Association’s 2011 annual State of the Air report? Cheyenne, WY; Santa Fe, NM; Bismarck, ND; Great Falls, MT; Honolulu, HI; Anchorage, AK; Amarillo, TX; Redding, CA; Duluth, MN; and Fargo, ND. They all sound like great places to me.

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Date of Birth Rejects, Errors, and Correction Procedure

April 24th, 2009

For the past two years, I have used Turbo Tax to file my federal and state tax returns. Both years, my tax e-file was rejected due to

Error 0522: The date of birth you entered on this return does not match what the IRS has in its files for you. The IRS receives this information from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

I knew my name, date of birth, and Social Security number were listed correctly on my returns, so I knew this was a mistake. I followed the Age/Name/SSN Rejects, Errors, Correction Procedures on the IRS website.

Question: I filed electronically but my tax return was rejected. What do I do now?

Answer:

* Your next action depends on the reason your return was rejected.
* You should receive an explanation of why the return was rejected.
* If a mistake was made when entering a social security number, omitting a form or a name is misspelled, the errors can be corrected and the return can be sent again to the IRS.
* There are other errors that will cause you to have to file using a paper return.
* If you have further questions, you can call our Customer Service number at 800-829-1040.
* For general information about e-file, refer to Electronic Services.

I tried unsuccessfully to contact IRS Customer Service at 800-829-1040. I tried calling approximately once a week from May 2008 to November 2008 and never spoke to a real person. I only heard a recorded message that said, “We are too busy to take your call. Please try again on the next business day.”

My tax return e-file rejection was annoying, but I printed and mailed my tax returns via USPS. Life went on as usual…

Until today, I completed the FAFSA to apply for financial aid to continue my education. When I tried to submit my FAFSA, my electronic signature was rejected because FAFSA could not find a match for my personal information with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

I called the FAFSA help line at 800-433-3243. The nice woman assured me that my personal information was correct and that my FAFSA PIN was working, but a match for me could not be found with the Social Security Administration (SSA). She suggested I call the SSA at 800-772-1213.

The SSA phone system is very annoying, but after several minutes of repeating myself to a robot, I was able to speak to an agent. With a heavy foreign accent, he asked for my personal information and he told me the birth date I had given him and the birth date on record were not the same. In fact, the birth date they had on record appeared to be the same date my parents applied for a Social Security number for me…

The nice man told me to correct a date of birth on SSA records, fill out the SS5 SSA form.

While researching this article, I also realized using Turbo Tax to troubleshoot the problem instead of the IRS would have helped me correct my date of birth much sooner:

Verifying the taxpayer’s date of birth

Do the following:
1. Open your return in TurboTax Desktop or log in to TurboTax Online.
2. Select the Personal Info tab, and then select About You.
3. Press the Continue button to navigate to the Enter Your Personal Information screen.
4. Verify the taxpayer’s date of birth, name, and social security number.
* If this information is incorrect, update it, save your return, and then re-file. You will not be charged again to re-file the same return electronically.
* If this information is correct, call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at (800) 772-1213 and verify the information that they have on file.
* If the SSA has incorrect information, then submit a request to have the information changed. This process generally takes 4 to 6 weeks.

I am surprised this problem has not caused more trouble in the past, but I am happy I finally know how to correct the problem. Maybe next year I can e-file my taxes!