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Every year a whole slew of peeps ask me if I am willing to do their taxes. As I work as an accountant all day, everyday, I tend to be quite tired of accountantcy once I am home. So I do my friends’ takes grudgingly, with the proviso that I require a meal in return — and I will not accept McDonald’s, Harvey’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell or Wendy’s. I want a real meal, not some $2.99 meal deal with a 2-for-1 coupon attached to it.

I, naturally as a dutiful child, do my parental units’ taxes. Years ago, when my father was rushing to get to Australia to take care of his brother who had just suffered 2 heart attacks and a stroke, my father asked me to do my mother’s taxes. Until 1997 my father had always done his and my mother’s taxes…. but March 1998 was different, he didn’t have time cos of the rush trip to Australia. As I was in the CGA Programme of Studies at the time my father asked me to complete mum’s.

I did her taxes, reviewed prior year filings and noted that my father had never claimed any of his union dues. I claimed 5 years worth of dues on my mother’s taxes. There were also other tax credits which I applied from prior years (there are certain tax deductible expenses that you can accumulate up to a 5 year period which you can then claim all at once). Needless to say, my mum got a big fat refund of $1300 while my father tended to get her about $300-400 each year. The following year my father asked my mum to hand over her T4 and other tax slips… she said no, that she’d prefer her Bean to do them for her, as I get her bigger refunds. The bint never told my dad how much I got her as a refund, and when he found out the yearly demands started — We gave you life, do our taxes. So since 1999 my parents have not done their own taxes. I manage to take advantage of all the loopholes for them, so they get nice little fat cheques; which they really need as every penny counts when an OAP.

Onto my friends… they are terrified of taxes. I don’t know why, really. Taxes are relatively easy and can be quickly filled out in about 15-20 minutes. So they ask me to help. I don’t mind, up to a limit of 5 friends.

I have had people try to barter for my “services” – for things like ceremonial knives (athames), wands, silversmithing services, whatnot. I can’t pay the rent with a pretty knife, or a wand or jewellry. In today’s capitalistic western society money still talks, so I need money. I do accept a meal, because it means that I will be economically benefitting from such a meal — I won’t have to pay for the meal, and/or the groceries for that week.

So to those friends who want me to do their taxes — only 5 of you. If you come as a pair I will count you as “one”. And as a reminder, I am lactose-intolerant, don’t like fish and have developed a distaste for pasta and bread.