If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
The Taxman by The Beatles
Funnily enough, I’m not scared of the taxman because of what ‘he’ can take away, because I don’t have anything to take away. I’m just irrationally scared of anything that requires me to be responsible with my finances. I’m pretty good at paying bills, but hopeless at keeping my business records. I think it’s because I know made a loss over the last two years, so I just don’t want to see the evidence piling up!
In fact, every time I get the orange tax return forms out my blood pressure soars. I’m claiming a similar reaction to ‘white coat syndrome’, when doctors make their patients so anxious their pulse races and throws off the blood pressure results!
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Last week when I was getting my tax stuff ready to see the accountant (for the first time ever) . . . . I cried. Like a baby! I was just so freaked out about having to be accountable for my income and expenditure. Silly isn’t it?
You may be wondering why I went to the accountant last week, before the end of the financial year. Well, it’s because I still haven’t lodged my tax for the last two years – yikes! Yep, I’m so scared of dealing with my finances that I just don’t do them.
I really don’t have any good reason to avoid it. None of my tax affairs are particularly complicated. In fact they’re really straight forward. Even though I cried before hand, the accountant was really lovely and just calmly went through everything. I didn’t even need to look at those horrible orange forms as he entered everything online.
He said I might get a fine for filing late, unless I had a good reason. I asked him if being terrified was a good reason. He didn’t think that would cut it.
It was quite empowering talking to the accountant. Things really don’t need to be so difficult (or scary). It all just numbers and categories and stuff. I left feeling a lot better about preparing my 2012 tax return, and I’ve already made an appointment to return in July. Also this year I should be in the black so that will be a nice change!
So, no longer the ostrich, I need to tackle my finances head on and start being more accountable and less scared of dealing with them. This is a crash test in the making!
I’d love to hear your tips on how you keep your financial records and track your receipts. Over the next week I’ll be looking at some different options and will set up my accounting systems for the next financial year.
I’m so brave ;)