I remember a time when I was extremely well organised with my tax submissions. I kept diaries and notebooks and spreadsheets. Every piece of paper was clipped to all other relevant pieces of paper. I visited the accountant and had my refund back by the end of August.
Then it stretched to September. The end of September used to be the deadline with the Australian Tax Office. Now I think it's October. Unless you go through an accountant, then it's March.
Can you see where this is going?
I didn't submit a tax return for three years. It was scary. I was constantly waiting for a letter telling me I was being fined for non-submission, but the fear wasn't enough to make me get it done. I still kept all the documents, now stuffed into a large envelope.
When I finally submitted the forms, the refund for the three years was both surprising and very pleasing. A built a new bathroom and did a few other things around the house, and still had money left over. I swore I wasn't going to leave it that long again, though. It was too nerve wracking.
So, what did I do? You got it. Left it another three years. What made me do it in the end? I started having nightmares that the house would burn down one day while I was at work and I'd lose all my proof of expenditure. This time, I didn't have as many deductions so the refund wasn't quite as large, but it was still good. I put solar power on the house.
That brings us to this year. It's July. Tax Time. My accountant has sent me a friendly reminder. I'm guessing she doesn't want the nightmare I presented her with last year. Still, I was procrastinating.
Right up until this morning.
That's when my cousin arrived and said "You have to do your tax before you can write". So we did. He called out numbers, I filled in all the spreadsheets, and everything is now in order, neatly labelled, ready for the accountant to do her thing. On Monday, I'll ring and make the appointment.
It's such a relief to know it's done.
Now all I have to do is decide what to do with this return. I do need a new stove (cooktop and oven)... I want to build some garden beds in the back yard... we need a new carport... and I'm going on a cruise at the end of the year so I'll need spending money...
I suspect the list of things to do with it is going to outstrip all possibilities very quickly. I haven't been to the accountant yet and will have several weeks after lodgement so there's time to decide.
E E Montgomery
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