HELLO TAXMAN

Every day during the month of February I ran down to my front door to look in my mail box. I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a special letter … (wait for it) … my husband’s T4!  Yes, that’s right, I was excited to receive my husband’s pay information so that I could fill in his taxes.  This is normally where you would expect a person to insert a comment about their wonderful use of sarcasm, but not me.  I love doing taxes!

Now I fully understand if you jump on the “your crazy” bandwagon; my husband drives the thing, but I just can’t help it. And if you were wondering, I am not an accountant.  In fact I would probably be the first to admit that I don’t have much interest in math.  I took grade 11 math twice, got almost the same mark, and decided 2 days into grade 12 math that it was better just to quit while I was ahead. However, math becomes enthralling to me when there is a relationship behind the numbers. Like when it is my money.

Cover of "Every Friday"

Cover of Every Friday

For this reason I love doing our weekly budget.  I love computing all the numbers, and it just feels like I won an exciting game-show when we can pay all the bills and have some money left over.  It’s like doing a crossword puzzle or a Sudoku, but the end result is my money in the bank.  On a side note my husband is very appreciative of me handling the money, and he likes that I still keep him involved.  Every Friday I explain to him where the money came from, where it went and what our future goals will be. This is also something I wish to include my children in, when they are old enough.  They will need to know how to budget, how to save, and how to do their own taxes.

Taxes give me this same sense of reward, only it is usually on a bigger scale.  My husband most years gets a return, and I feel successful for putting all the correct numbers in the correct spaces to achieve this return.  I always have to pay since I am self-employed and I pay all my income tax at the end of the year.  However since I take deductions off my gross pay each week, without accounting for deductions, it feels like I’m getting a return when I don’t have to pay the full amount I set aside.  Therefore I feel like doing taxes is a fun game, with a monetary payoff. What feels even better is the satisfaction of doing it myself, and doing it honestly so that I don’t have to worry about the wrath of the CRA.

While you won’t find me quitting my day job to become an accountant, you will find me a happy lady when that T4 comes in that mail.  But I didn’t always do my own taxes. Once upon a time the whole idea intimidated me beyond belief, and I was quite content to shell out $350+ dollars for an accountant to handle my business taxes.  I trusted the accountant, since she was the expert, and she seemed very friendly and competent.  But a few forgotten details on her part cost us thousands of dollars, and I resolved to never again trust anyone else with my money.  So now I work away at it myself, with a lot of research.  It definitely is a learning curve though, and I can see why my roommates in university who were accounting majors got stressed out a lot.  I have yet to succeed at doing it right the first time, but I am very impressed with those wonderful workers at the CRA have no problem showing you your errors, even if it means getting a bigger return.  I am sure that having that wonderful software (that I am going to invest in next year) will help make the whole process easier.

So while my love of doing taxes may seem a little eccentric, I am sure I am not alone. The world needs people who love doing all different types of jobs in order to function.  I certainly don’t love teeth, but I am glad my dentist appreciates them.  Just as I am glad my postal worker is there to deliver my tax return no matter how bad the weather may be!

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