One of the residents from the 9th floor knocked on our door this morning clutching a fistful of mail. “It’s yours. We found it in our box. Our apologies for opening it. We didn’t read anything!”
She then handed over a bunch of mail from the income tax department. Just what I needed… In the end it wasn’t that bad. The most interesting letter was a reconciliation showing that a refund of $12 was due to me. The letter is worded so that it is clear that the income tax department hates refunding money. Why am I paying income tax anyway?
A few years ago I stormed into the income tax offices determined to tell them that I am a pensioner, I shouldn’t be paying taxes and I’ve come to put an end to this tax-paying nonsense. The clerk was talking to his daughter on a mobile phone, helping her choose the color of her new car and kept me standing in the doorway to his office. After waiting 10 minutes I lost my temper walked up to the desk and yelled, “Why am I paying taxes anyway? Don’t you people know I’m a pensioner? Do I have to keep working and paying taxes to the very end?”
The clerk looked at me and shook a short, fat finger at me. “You don’t have to keep working to the end if you don’t want to…. but you will pay taxes to the last minute!” He then came around to my side of his desk, apologized for keeping me waiting and proceeded to check the amount of taxes I was paying. He was right. Age and taxes are like oil and water – they don’t mix. You earn, you pay. The only connection between them was beautifully described by Benjamin Franklin when he commented on the new constitution of the United States. “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.