I got lots of writing done. I was supposed to be working on my 2018 income taxes. Normally I procrastinate with writing. Given the choice between writing and taxes, I chose writing. I posted some of the writing on my blogs the past few weeks, but most of the writing was private. It may be public one day.
Today, April 30, is the tax deadline. It was like being back in high school. I had all weekend to do my homework, and I waited until late Sunday night before starting it. Yesterday, the day before the deadline, I finally tackled my taxes.
I still file the old way of using paper. I could file online, but I am still not sure of what I am doing using the paper forms. When I am confident using the paper tax forms, and understand income-tax procedures, then I will file online. Filing online now would be like using a calculator when I am still learning how to add.
If I figured it out correctly, then the government owes me a billion dollars. I will settle for less if paying me a billion dollars will be a financial burden. I would not want our politicians giving up the perks of their jobs so I can get my billion dollars.
Now that my taxes are done, I can go back to putting off writing.
Is space really the final frontier? What about human stupidity? Surely human stupidity goes further than the remote reaches of space.
A tax accountant, who has many artists, musicians and actors as clients, mentioned how one of his clients is a musician who plays for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). This musician lives in Oakville. Oakville is a small town just outside of Toronto. The musician has to drive to Toronto to work, and his work is to play for the TSO. On his income tax return, he claimed his mileage for his trips to Toronto when going to work.
Let us recap here. A musician lives in Oakville and works for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has to drive from Oakville to Toronto to go to work. His work is to play for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He can claim, as a deduction on his tax return, his mileage for his trips to Toronto where he works as a musician for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The Canada Revenue Agency audited this musician. The auditor disallowed the musician’s mileage claim. The auditor said that it was not necessary for the musician to drive to Toronto to play his instrument when he could play it in Oakville. The fact that the musician WORKED for the TORONTO Symphony Orchestra did not matter to the auditor.
Perhaps human stupidity is close to, but not as far as the remote reaches of space. The musician’s deduction, for mileage, was allowed after the tax accountant appealed the auditor’s decision.
I received a text on my cell phone:
Gouv Canada: There was money missing on your last tax refund, claim the funds at: http://validation-s3cure.info/%233hz [sic]
This link is a “Deceptive Site.” Deceptive sites are designed to get you to reveal personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers.
Nice fucking try! The government can keep the money and use it to investigate scams.
Unfortunately, I deleted the text before making note of the telephone number.
Panic! Panic! I panicked when I saw my 2017 Income Tax Assessment. I was expecting a refund of over a thousand dollars, but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said that I owed $5,000.00. How could this be? Throughout 2017, I had them deduct more taxes than necessary so I could get a refund. (It’s like having a savings plan with the money taken off before I spend it on something else.) There had to be a mistake. My gross income, for 2017, was below $20,676 which is the poverty line in Ontario. How can I owe the government a quarter of the poverty line when I did not make the poverty line? (Oh the life of luxury I would live if I made the poverty line!)
If it wasn’t a mistake, then I decided I would have to make monthly payments.
I called the CRA. The woman I spoke to instantly spotted the mistake. I do not understand why it wasn’t caught by the person who assessed my tax return.
Line 373, of the return, asks for your self-employed income. I wrote $373,991.00 with $991.00 being my self-employed income. Why did I write $373,991.00 on Line 373? I don’t know. Perhaps while filling out the tax return, I had my thumb up my ass and my mind in Alabama. Who knows? But nowhere else on my tax return did $373,991.00 appear as my self-employed income. Everywhere else I listed it as only $991.00.
Why didn’t the CRA catch my mistake? They assessed my gross income below $20,676.00, but accepted my self-employed income as $373,991.00. How can I make less than $20,676.00 and $373,991.00 at the same time? But they based the $5000.00 owing because of what was on Line 373. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one with my thumb up my ass and my mind in Alabama.
The CRA corrected the mistake, and I received my refund. Whew!
A few days after this incident, a friend told about someone who had killed himself because of money problems. I was sorry to hear about the suicide, but I felt fantastic. Why? Because I suddenly realized that not once did I consider suicide as an option. Until a few years ago, suicide would be the first thing I would think of to escape a problem—especially a financial problem. I wouldn’t focus on how to solve or deal with the problem, I would think of ways to kill myself to escape from the problem. But when faced with owing the government five thousand dollars, I focused on how I was going to solve the problem and never considered suicide. Wow! What a big change for me! What progress I have made!
Oh, the irony of life! If the Ouija Board is right and I die the first week of August, 2018, then I hear The Universe saying, “Okay, Gary, now that you reached a point in your life where you no longer think about suicide, it’s time for you to die.”
I have mentioned the Ontario Opportunities Fund in a previous blog. I can’t believe that the government is still asking people, getting tax refunds, to give all or part of their refund to the government. The above example is from a 2014 tax form, but the same box was on 2017 tax forms.
How many people donate all or part of their refund to the government? Are there people out there who think, “Oh, the poor government is in debt. I will donate my tax refund to help it out.”?
The government mismanages our taxes and gets into debt. Then the government asks us to give it our tax refunds, too?
On my 2017 tax form, I wrote in the Ontario Opportunities Fund box, “Are you serious?”
“Shouldn’t you be doing your taxes?”
“Then why are you writing?”
Productive procrastination? Is that a good reason? I never write enough, so I am writing now to avoid doing my taxes.
“But when you’re supposed to be writing, you avoid doing so by doing something else.”
“If you drew up a schedule, then you would find time to do everything you’re supposed to do.”
You’re right, voice in my head, but part of me resists schedules and time constraints and just wants to run wild and do whatever.
“So, you get a lot accomplished running wild and doing whatever?”
Look, I said that you were right about doing a schedule. Don’t rub it in. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to find something else to do so I can avoid doing my taxes.
Good Friday. Jesus suffered and died on the cross. Thinking about this made me think about income taxes.
My taxes are done! I delivered them to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on April 6, 2017. They weren’t due until the end of April, but I got them in early. Did I mention that my taxes are done?
I got called “stupid” by several friends because I declared cash income. I don’t mind being stupid because I don’t have to think.
If I lie about my income, then I have to remember that I lied and what lie I told. I have to worry whether there is any way CRA can discover the cash I received if they audit me. This is too much thinking for my pea brain. How much easier being honest and not having to think or worry.
How ironic that friends who called me stupid, for not hiding cash income, are patriotic. They’re proud Canadians! Yet at tax time, they replace their patriotism with thoughts of Canada engaging in sex all by itself.
I don’t like paying taxes and will avoid paying them if I can do so legally. But taxes have been around since before God created the world, and will be around after the world ends. Why get upset, and put so much effort into cheating to avoid them?
By the way, the Roman government rejoiced when Jesus rose from the dead. That meant that they could tax him for eternity.
I thought I would have my 2015 income taxes filed by March 30, a month before the deadline. I promised myself I would after filing late in past years. But I procrastinated. March 30 came and went.
“Nothing is more damaging to character than unfinished projects.”
I read that quote years ago, and cannot find it or who said it on the Internet. Did I procrastinate to self-sabotage and damage my character? The more I procrastinated the worse I felt. The worse I felt, the more I procrastinated. But I knew I had to file by April 30, 2016, and I knew that doing my taxes would be the best moment of my life.
I finished my taxes and dropped them off at the tax office before April 30. (This year April 30 is on a Saturday. The Canada Revenue Agency moved the due date to the first business day, May 2.)
The American tax deadline is April 15. April 15 is when the Titanic sank.
The Canadian deadline, as mentioned, is April 30. April 30 is the when Hitler died—or was supposed to have died.
Hitler faked his death and escaped from Germany. He is still alive and well. He works for both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as consultant.
I have auditioned for parts, and been rejected. I have submitted manuscripts for publication, and been rejected. I have asked women out for bananas (as opposed to dates), and been rejected. I never dreamed that The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would reject my tax returns.
Sunspots delayed me in filing my tax returns for the past twelve years. (I am blaming sunspots because I don’t want to take responsibility.) The sunspots went away, and I finally filed returns from 2003 to 2014 in the Spring of 2015.
The CRA had already assessed my taxes for 2003 and 2004. I paid the taxes plus interest and penalties plus more interest and penalties and still more interest and penalties. The CRA told me that I still had to file returns for 2003 and 2004, and would receive a refund if they had assessed too much. But they sent both tax returns back with a letter stating that they would not process my returns because I had filed them past the ten-year period allowable for re-assessment. In other words, their assessment was final.
Why would they tell me to file returns, for 2003 and 2004, only to reject them? Is it possible that their assessments for 2003 and 2004 were higher than what I actually owed? Did they invoke the ten-year rule so they would not have to pay me more of a refund on top of the refund they already owe me? Who knows? I am grateful that they did not lock me up for tax evasion, or take my firstborn.
I don’t know about other countries, but in Canada you are not entitled to receive a tax refund if you file after three years. If you file after three years, and are entitled to a refund, the CRA can refuse to send it. You can appeal to the Grand Poobah, and he or she may grant you a refund as far back as ten years from the date you filed. After ten years, you are no longer entitled to receive any refund. The ten-year rule does not apply if you owe taxes. How interesting that there is a time limit if they owe you money, but no time limit if you owe them money.
Here is how the CRA rejection letter, they sent with my 2003 and 2004 tax returns, translated in my mind:
Dear Mr. Johnston:
Thank you for thinking about the Canada Revenue Agency and submitting your 2003 and 2004 tax returns. As you know, we receive a high volume of tax returns from Canadians across the country. We read your tax returns with great interest, and were impressed with their quality, but we are returning them to you. Your tax returns are not what we are looking for at this time.
Thank you, again, for thinking about us. We wish you great success with submitting tax returns to us in the future.
P. Choo Pompdeedoo
Asssistant to the Assistant to the Assistant of The Grand Poobah,
Silly Services Section, Canada Revenue Agency
How easy it is to dismiss the people who work for the government as stupid. I have done so, but know it is not true. There is a method to their stupidity.
In this blog on October 4, 2015, I mentioned how I filed twelve years of income taxes starting in the Spring and finishing in the Fall. (https://seniorimaginarynumber.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/i-survived/
The only problem was that I could not find any tax forms, tax guides and tax papers for 2008. I had this information for every year except 2008. Where was my tax information for 2008? Did ISIS take it?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) told me to average amounts between 2007 and 2009, and use the information they had on file about my income for 2008 and the tax deducted. I had to print off tax forms for 2008 from the CRA’s website.
When I sent in my 2008 tax return, I included a letter clearly explaining how 2008 was the only year, of the twelve, that I had lost all my tax information. I also stated that I have not owned a car since 1995 and have relied on public transit every year since then by buying monthly passes. I explained how I had contacted the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and found out that a monthly pass, for 2008, was $109. I claimed $1308.00 (12 X 109.00) as a deduction.
In October, the Preassessment Review Section, of the CRA, sent a letter requesting public transit receipts for 2007 and 2008.
What a coincidence! The government owes me a large refund for 2007, and more so for 2008. The CRA wants receipts for those years only? Hmmm . . .
I sent in the receipts for 2007 along with a letter clearly stating how all information for 2008 was lost. I repeated how I have used public transit since 1995, and continue to do so now. How reasonable to assume that I used public transit in 2008.
The Preassessment Review Section sent me a letter in December:
“We have adjusted your 2008 claim for the public transit amount from $1308 to $0.00 for the following reason: You did not provide the documentation we requested.”
Are they that stupid? The answer is, “No, they are not.”
The Preassessment Review Section has to justify its existence by assessing claims and disallowing them thereby eliminating or reducing tax refunds. Why should they work hard when they get paid the same if they work easy?
I suspect a hard-working CRA employee thought, “This will be easy! He says he has no tax information for 2008. We will send him a letter requesting it. When he can’t produce it, we will disallow his claim, reduce his tax refund and make Canada a better place.”