Archive for May, 2006
I like doing my taxes. I enjoy the little brain workout – which is why I poohpooh a calculator and do all the math myself. But I tend to get a little bit of money back, too – about $1,000 – so it’s kind of fun.
But it’s not fun for most people – is it. Which brings me to – why are Canadians expected to either do their own taxes – which is work for the government we aren’t getting paid to do (and I refer to the actual labour of filling out the forms) – or pay a company to do them for us (money we must pay if we aren’t capable of doing our own taxes, in spite of the fact that we are having to do our taxes FOR the government). Because even when I say I like doing my taxes – I’m referring to doing the math, not filling out the forms. The forms are insanely complicated – with the added bonus this year that a separate form was sent out earlier updating the forms we would be required to eventually use to fill out our taxes. The update gives us a slight edge, too, so it’s important to use it – adding a crazily complicated new step to an already byzantine process.
I was trying to think of another circumstance in which this kind of… unpaid labour… is acceptable. And I really couldn’t think of one. So please feel free to add comments to this entry. I’d like to know how people feel about being threatened with fines and possibly even jail if we don’t do this bit of unpaid labour for our government that has a huge Ministry sitting right there which we pay for and which is – I’m sure – much more up to the task. The fact that we must submit our homework to it for corrections and a good going over tells me that a much more efficient way of collecting taxes would be have government pros do them for us in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I feel a little bit like a schoolgirl – waiting to hear back from MY government that I pay for that I’ve done my homework correctly and will receive my gold star in the mail shortly. A gold star I was already owed before I did the unpaid labour of proving it to the debtor, I might add.
If we had a government suggestion box, I think that’d be at the top of my list: “Since the government is the tax expert, maybe the government should do the country’s taxes.” I think it would, in the end, save it and us – taxes.