I’ve been putting it off quite long enough. That reminder in my phone calendar to ‘do tax return’ has been lurking for weeks and has begun to assume a plaintive air: if I leave it any longer it will become positively admonitory – and take it from me, the last thing you want to see every morning is an Admonitory Reminder. Having got the desktop computer up and running (like OH in the mornings – yes, still pounding the streets at 6 am) I’d run out of excuses. Log on I must, and the sooner the better, just in case I run into any problems, since the prospect of phoning the helpline on 31st January does not appeal.
At this time of year I always think of Bernard Black making a jacket out of his receipts:
I know how he feels.
It’s not that in principle I object to paying tax. As a fully-signed-up Labour Party member I am utterly seized of the need to pay what is due so that we can have proper public services. No, it’s not that; in fact I’d be hard put to say what actually does bother me about this process – all I know is that a sense of dread and doom and an unwillingness to embark on it is matched by the knowledge that I must do it Or Else; and these two fight it out until, some time in late January, I actually do it. Then once it’s done there’s a feeling of euphoria which lasts several days – but somehow I always forget this when January comes a-knocking again.
Anyway, with that box ticked I can get on with the rest of my year, warmed by a righteous glow and without the need to talk to any Jehovah’s Witnesses…