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11:39am on Friday, 18th October, 2019:

Taxing Time


I gritted my teeth and filled out my tax forms today. It only took two and a half hours. It would have only taken thirty minutes if I didn't have to try and match up the US$ royalty payments I received against the GB£ amounts that arrived in my bank account, then try figure out if I'd been taxed on them or not.

Most people in the UK don't have to fill out tax forms, but I started having to do so when MUSE Ltd was formed in 1985 and still have to today because of book royalties. I always take a cautious approach with them, preferring not to claim for something I'm unsure about rather than claim for it and cross my fingers I'm not wrong. This served me well when I was audited once, and the knowledge that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are so over-stretched that if I'm audited again it'll be by an AI doesn't fill me with confidence.

I have to say, the HMRC website does make filing tax returns easy. It has big, circular radio boxes that it's very satisfying to click. I gave it very positive feedback, and used the freeform comment to point out a dead link they had in their help files.

The best part is finishing the exercise, though. The email reminding me to do my taxes has been sitting aggressively in my mailbox since 13th May, and my relief at being able to delete it is unbounded.

I'm free! At least until next October, anyway...

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).