With January 31st rapidly approaching, it’s probably about time that I completed my UK tax return if I’m to avoid a £100 fine. Thankfully I only have to do the short one, although no doubt that will change next year when I attempt to claim back a heapload of overpaid British tax.
After more than ten years of doing tax returns, I can pretty much complete the form in twenty minutes or so these days. True, pulling my home apart in an attempt to find the all-important P60 certificate or even the form itself takes around eighteen hours. And yes, I always get the figures wrong and end up paying a little too much or a bit too little to the Inland Revenue. But apart from those minor issues, I’ve got this thing down to a fine art.
Sadly, the American system is completely different. And by ‘completely different’, I mean ‘absolutely unfathomable’. Approximately 83 different organi
szations team up to extract money from my payche queck, ranging from the federal government to Domino’s Pizza (the mozzarella tax seems a little excessive if you ask me, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for it). And with The Special One constantly talking about ‘deducting this’ and ‘deducting that’ at the end of the year, I’m not sure whether I need to be saving up my cents for a gigantic tax bill, or planning the trip of a lifetime on my rebate.
Unfortunately, if there’s one thing that America and the UK probably have in common, it’s the existence of taxation bodies that are phenomenally happy when they’re collecting cash, but a little bit grumpy when they have to give it back. Looks like that round-the-world voyage might just have to wait for another year.