If you could just let me know your writing income and any deductions and I can get this finished.
The email from my accountant was very helpful, and couldn’t have made things more straightforward. All I had to do was make a few simple calculations, type them into a document, and press ‘send’. And then, for another year, my tax nightmare would be over.
So I did. On Friday, I sorted through the detritus of my record keeping, plucking out receipts and invoices, punching numbers into my calculator, and collating the lot to send through to said accountant. I felt extremely proud of myself when the whole thing only took two hours.
Well, two hours and six months.
You see, the email from my accountant had arrived last August, along with a very polite request for me to return it ‘by the end of the week if possible’. And yet I just couldn’t do it. I left it and left it, promising myself day after day – and then week after week – that I would get to it ‘as soon as’ I had finished whatever super-important thing it was I was doing at the time.
My shame grew and grew, my inability to complete such a simple task haunting me every time I opened my inbox, until it was so painful to even look at the damn email that I moved it to a special ‘to do’ file on my computer, where I never had to see it again. And it wasn’t until my accountant contacted me again last week, informing me rather sternly that my taxes would need to be paid by March, that I got off my bottom and did them.
I hate doing my taxes. It elicits a physical sensation in me that is so unpleasant I prefer to live with the only-slightly-less unpleasant sensation elicited by putting it off. It is a horrible task, for a number of reasons:
1. Doing my taxes reminds me of how pitifully small my income really is.
2. Doing my taxes reminds me that, despite the pitiful smallness of my income, I still have to give the government lots of it.
3. I do not enjoy rummaging through drawers looking for tiny pieces of paper to provide evidence that I actually earned anything at all.
4. Every calculator I own is grossly inconsistent, giving me a different answer every time I punch in a series of numbers.
5. I end up either embarrassed by how little I gave to charity, or appalled at how much I gave to charity, considering how little I actually earned.
Still, there are some positives aspects to doing my taxes.
1. I don’t end up in jail or fined.
2. No, that’s about it, really.
Of course, I do feel a sense of relief now that my taxes are in. I emailed all the information to my accountant with a cheery
Here it is, and it only took six months! That’s not so bad, is it?
and pressed ‘send’ with a smile.
Strangely, however, my accountant hasn’t responded at all, which gives me another reason for hating doing my taxes.
6. It takes away your sense of humour.
This will be Kerri Sackville’s last weekly blog post for Australian Women Online. Although Kerri will still be contributing the occasional guest post to the website, this very talented writer is leaving us for greener pastures and we wish her well with all her future endeavours.