The last thing I want to think about on a Monday morning

The 3 of Hearts … an unusual assignment, not so much a task as a thought-experiment (like the one I did at the start of the year inspired by Thoreau), but this week’s card concerns taxes. A word with very little positive connotation. Not helped by the expression, “death and taxes” for which we can thank Benjamin Franklin.

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.

The assignment is this: Think about your attitude towards taxes. Is there a way in which you just might see them differently? 

I know what I had in mind when I set this assignment late last year (yes, as a reminder to those less familiar with the Deck of Small Change, I invented the assignments attached to each card, scheming up 52 things I thought I should do to change my relationship with money).

Untitled 2My attitude towards taxes isn’t complicated. They feel unjust (or unjustly high, let’s say), I resent them and I resent the paperwork that goes with them. I especially resent the sort of tax I pay on top of what comes out of my pay check. The latter involves money that never reaches me. The other sort is a much more visible penalty.

My attitudes towards taxes isn’t complicated. But I do see them this way  … as a penalty. I haven’t based this attitude on specific assumptions about what government should and shouldn’t do for me, any particular points of view on public service or indeed anything at all to do with socio-political leanings. Not consciously, anyway.

My attitude is a child-like annoyance at having to be a grown-up. I feel the same about going to the dentist (never mind paying for the pleasure).

I wonder if I would feel differently about taxes if I stopped to think about them a little more deeply, at least for a few minutes anyway.

Until next Sunday, over and out

Oh and for those of you who cannot bear to think about taxes either — a friendly reminder if you live in the UK and have to self-assess … the online deadline arrives end of January. How could you forget? If you’re anything like me, this is entirely possible.

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2 thoughts on “The last thing I want to think about on a Monday morning

  1. I’m just having to deal with doing my taxes. The problem I have is unlike the tax I pay in my slalary, this freelance stuff doesn’t come out when you need to pay it but mounts up and has to be paid at once. If everyone I got freelance pay I submitted it and paid tax straight away it would be much easier.

    Although I’m currently getting Jen to handle this stuff for me which helps my financial brain freeze when presented with finances. But doesn’t really help her.

    I basically agree with tax, within the system we have, but I think that people with higher salaries need to pay more and corporations need to pay rather than dodge tax. I believe in tax because I believe in public services and this is a good way to find them, but I hate the way tax gets used for war and monarchy and all sorts of things I don’t support or sanction. Really I don’t believe in tax bit more the redistribution of wealth. It’s just that since that doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon we have to have some way of supporting those in need.

    It’s complicated however because I have never really made enough money for it to feel right to be losing so much to tax.

    Basically I support tax in theory but hate it so so much in practice. And even in terms of supporting it in theory I don’t like the way it works practically. So really I support a different taxation system to the one that exists!

    1. I was thinking of you when I posted this this am. There was another earlier this year where you left interesting comments on tax too. I’m not sure the “rich” should pay more — 40-50% of a high salary is quite a whack. I think crazy salaries and insane bonuses are more what’s wrong.

      I was out last night with someone who had seen the documentary on Claridge’s and the suite that rents out at 6,000 per night and it makes me feel ill what the money could do for others.

      Anyway — more later!

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