Google Mixup Leads to Tax-Time Nightmare for Tiny AirportS

It's almost Tax Day, which means everyone is frantically googling the IRS to figure out how to get an extension. But if you search for "IRS" on Google Maps it leads you to a tiny airport in Michigan. This has caused some problems, it turns out.

The phone calls started two months ago, and it was just a trickle at first. Since then it's grown to a deluge of "20 to 50 calls a day" from people with tax questions, according to a weary-sounding office manager named Becky who took the time to talk to us this afternoon.

After some investigation, employees of the airport—Kirsch Municipal Airport in Sturgis, Michigan—found the source of the problem: Kirsch's FAA airport code is IRS, and when you search for "IRS" on Google Maps, it's the first and only thing that comes up. People are apparently too panicked by the prospect of filing their tax return (or extension) on time to realize that the IRS is not headquartered in a town of 10,000 people in southern Michigan.

The calls haven't been a huge issue, Becky says, but she's getting sick of them. "It's just irritating," she said. "Most of them calling aren't the most intelligent, calling us at 7pm on the weekends. And it's like, do you seriously think the IRS is going to answer their phone at 7 on a Sunday?"

Becky contacted Google repeatedly about the problem, to no avail. Today, she posted her dilemma to Google Maps' help forum: "I am sooo fed up with this issue and please help me fix it asap! Thanks!" Another user told her how to "claim" the Google Maps listing and fix the name. Becky said she's done that, and Kirsch Municipal Airport's listing should be fixed by tomorrow.

Add this sad situation to the very long list of reasons you hate the IRS.

[via Blumenthals.com, photo via Airliners.net]