Thursday, April 30, 2009

where I think about my tax return

It has been over 15 years since I worked in an office, or had a regular 9-5 job.

Which suits me just fine.
Though, I could probably use a bit more structure in my life.
(ya think?!)

And ever since I went back to school, then started working on my own, I have used someone had an accountant to help with my accounting and - most importantly - do my taxes.
I have had a few different people in this capacity. The last guy I had came by on April 30 (the last day to file your income taxes) and waltzed into my place, opened up his laptop and immediately started inputting figures. Then says, triumphantly, you owe $XXX.


(I didn't bat my eyelashes - I blinked, I doubt he would have noticed anyway as he never once made eye contact and barely looked up from his precious laptop.)

"No, I shouldn't owe anything. I should be getting a refund."

My mind frantically searching for ... something.
I was so incredibly tired as I'd been up all night working and spent the previous day organizing and adding and re-adding all my receipts and info.

Then, I remembered a few facts he hadn't asked, since he hadn't asked anything. What about my car? my massage table? and and and

"Oh, you have a massage table?"


How does he think I do my massages??

Finally, we get it sorted and I get my refund amount, and he leaves.

All in all it took about 15 minutes of his precious time.
Then, last year, I found a new 'tax person'. She came by my place, opened up a notepad and immediately started writing stuff down and asked for the previous years' return. She made some strangled noises while reading it.

Several sighs later and many, many questions later, she left armed with figures and I was given instructions to add to those figures. Days later, when we met again, I was severely admonished for not taking advantage of the many write-offs I was entitled. "Didn't you buy lightbulbs?" "Where are your receipts for toilet paper?"
"I forgot....."

"You won't forget next year, will you?"

Since I was a little behind, she was actually working on '06 (I was so not interested in getting that other guy back....) and we both knew she wouldn't have time to get to '07 before April 30th.

Then she drops this bombshell.

"It doesn't matter, because you don't actually have to file until September, since you are self-employed."


Why did nobody ever tell me this?

So for over a dozen years, I have fretted and gotten headaches and stomachaches and crawled under the covers in fear and loathing every April 30th and I didn't even need to file yet?!

I'm heading for my local public house for a drink. It'll probably be quiet in there tonight.

And I'll save the receipt.


  1. I didn't know about that either. good to know. sorry about the pain.

  2. Char - not sure it's the same in the States - you might want to check though.

    Tax time has always been most stressful for me, I get overwhelmed with such forms very easily.

  3. Funny you should post about taxes today: I got mine done two weeks ago (great guy who works out of his home, not super-expensive either) and today I got the notice saying that my refund is exactly what he worked it out to be. It also said that I am way behind in my RRSP contributions, but I already knew that.

    So, yes, a drink is definitely in order!

  4. I HATE Revenue Canada!!! Those losers actually had the nerve to hound me in two countries for the $186 GST refund I received in 1998 when I actually VOLUNTEERED that I was leaving the country. Sheesh! At least Yankees KNOW that the IRS is out to get us.

    I think you should play quarter-bounce for every time someone says the word "tax" today. (I paid my city income taxes today here in Saginaw, so I'm right there with you, hon!) :)

  5. Haha, I suspect that you will now have all those headaches in August eh? I hate doing taxes too but I do my own so thats probably why it is such a loathsome task! Enjoy your drink (and do save ther eceipt).

  6. After that drink you'll feel better:) But it's true at at some time, you'll have to do them, whether it's April of August! like one of the comments said.

  7. Its much the same here if you're self employed or don't get tax deducted at work. Have to do all these assessments otherwise there are hefty fines!
    I hate having to fill in these forms & get my self into a terrible state, though while I am working, I don't have to do it.
    You have my sympathy.

  8. From a country (Belgium) where sales tax on a pint of milk clocks in at a shameful 21%, we pay our 45% income tax with a numbness that defies description.

    I'm glad you found out you had more time to file though.

  9. Pinklea: yay for you - enough for a night out in style?

    Naomi: the Revenue Canada devil will always find you...and hound you.

    Amanda: but, August is so far away... isn't it?

    Jeannette: if I can postpone a chore, that alone makes me happy.

    Maggie May: at least here there is no fine for filing late if you are getting a refund (though no interest on the refund they get to keep and use until you claim for it)

    Peter: I have blanked out so much of this headache that I don't even know what my tax % is. I can sleep better not knowing, I think.

  10. I have no such worries. The tax people have figured it all out for me. They know all my ins and outs. I have no privacy.

  11. Irene: helpful, but scary, too.

  12. Who the hell keeps EVERY single receipt? Self employed or not.


  13. Hannah: Oh, yes, I did. For the first 2 years, I was so poor and desperate for every savings. I saved even the coffee receipts from McDonalds when I had to wait between patient appointments.
    Now, I'm just lazy.

  14. Getting more than one opinion applies to more than doctors, it seems. We always owe federal taxes, even though we aren't self-employed, but we usually get enough back from the state of Ohio to pay the ones we owe.

    Tax time is painful, isn't it?

  15. Susan: that sounds suspiciously like "robbing Peter to pay Paul".
    So it all comes out even in the end?

    Taxe Day destroys a beautiful Spring moment.

  16. I'm fortunate (?) in that I don't earn enough to pay taxes - so no returns for me, though Mr. G sweats over his even though we are both retired and our income is fixed!

    Love the little bear!

  17. I dont think we have a different deadline for self-employed folks here, although it's easy enough to get an extension. My accountant led me so badly astray last year that I just did my own taxes this year. And yes, I save all my receipts.

  18. Omigosh, I just learned something. Thank you for the valuable information, and it didn't cost me a cent! :-)


  19. This is such an amazing story! And a real lesson in "if you don't have the right tax could cost you...."!

    I am so happy for you that you found this woman! BRAVO to you!

  20. Wait a minute!! You can write off toilet paper???


  21. Gilly: now if only the tax laws didn't change so much every year, he could just us the same formula over and over...

    Jo: you are welcome. now start working out of your home.

    Jazz: yup. so long as you are working out of your home. and have clients come by.

    Naomi: I'm slowly learning what to look for. it is all trial and error for the first while though.


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