Doing Taxes is Like Reviewing Your Life...

They say that only two things in life are certain, death and taxes, well I am yet to experience the former but have been hard at work at the latter once again. Yes the annual tax marathon has been in full swing for the last two weeks and at times it does feel like a long slow death, drowning in screwed up little pieces of paper, which we're once receipts. Hey guys how about making it law that receipts are printed with indelible ink on indestructible paper it's only fair if you want me to keep this evidence for all these years.

Some people I know hand all this stuff over to accountants people who are apparently paid to do this kind of work all year round wow special people! I have experienced tax this way but I prefer to immerse myself in the process and do it myself. Tax time is a time of accounting, a personal period of facing up to what you have been doing for the last year or multiple years in my case a few times. It can be highly enlightening as to where all your money has gone to, particularly when you add up all the bank fees and credit card interest charges those guys in the bank sure know how to fleece you good and proper.

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Sitting down and going through all those scraps of paper and all those bills and bank statements is like a review of your life. Where you get to remember all the good times, bad times and completely forgotten times "was I really there and did I really spend that much money?"

Tax is also a time where you get to measure your life according to just one criteria money! Like the game of Monopoly everything you have done is tallied up and valued by the dollars and cents. It gives a simplistic glow or gloom to your life, without the multi-dimensional complexities of real life. There are no hard questions like, "should I have slept with my best friend's girlfriend?" No, it is refreshingly clear in it's reframing of life -"how much was that experience worth or how much did it cost me to sleep with my best friend's girlfriend?" "Well we had dinner at Zacs and that was $200 and the taxi back to her place was $43 so the value of this experience was $243."

Tax is also a time where you really get to test your integrity, to find out whether you keep to the spirit of the law in your tax return. Do you stretch the truth? Well that receipt could refer to a business expense but deep down you know that it was really that time you took your best friend's girlfriend out to dinner. Tax is a bit like applying the rules of golf during a game, when your ball moves at address and you are way over in the bushes and nobody can see you, let alone your golf ball. Are you going to write down that extra stroke and call that penalty shot upon yourself? Tax is all about self regulation and understanding what it is to be really honest.

Of course the tax return documents themselves are hideously complex and difficult to understand. How certain questions are phrased can render you completely flummoxed and staring blindly into those piles of statements and scribbled bits of paper, which make up your life according to the tax department. Do I put the total amount of deferred losses here, including previous years or just this year's loss? I don't know, I just don't know! Then you get to the best question in the whole thing how many hours did it take you to complete your tax return?

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Posted in Financial Services Post Date 12/25/2020


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