I hate when authority figures are catty.

I was supposed to get my backlog of taxes done by the end of April.  I didn’t – although I did get 2006 mailed off on April 28.

When I called the CRA to tell them I’ve mailed 2006 and please put that on my record, the dude said that because the other years are still outstanding, he has to refer my case to another department and they might follow up to ask why I didn’t get it all done in the 60 days they allotted me.

Can I just say, it would be a perfectly fair question to ask me why I didn’t get each year of taxes done immediately, back when it was first due.  I wouldn’t have a good answer for that, but it would be a logical thing to ask.  But asking me why didn’t you get seven years of back taxes done in 60 days just seems kinda…stupid to me.  I didn’t get it all done because I needed to find slips of paper and scraps of information from up to eight years ago.  Duh.

Also, though, I’ve just recently noticed that each tax form requires information from the previous year’s assessment, which means I can only do one year at a time and wait for that to be processed before moving on to the next.  There may be a way around this, though, and I’m gonna call the CRA and check (if the line ever stops being busy…).  If I do need the precise information from a previous assessment in order to do the following year’s taxes, though, then I wouldn’t have been able to get it all done in time even if I’d mailed in my completed 2006 forms the day after the CRA told me to get caught up.

Anyway.  I just wanted to observe that the interrogation I may be about to receive is ridiculous.  I’m probably going to be charged penalties for my procrastination anyway, so what is even the point of giving me a verbal scolding and making me admit that I was wrong?  Barraging me with questions about why I fail at life seems awfully vindictive – like it’s not enough that I know I fucked up, I’m trying to make it right, and I’m ready to endure the consequences of my actions; no, they need me to feel humiliated.  Jesus Christ, I might as well be dealing with my fucking parents.

A simple “Hey, you fucked this up – make it right by [deadline] or we’ll charge you extra fees” seems like the proper way for the government to handle this.

might not get the verbal bitchslap, anyway; sounds like the way it works is I get added to the naughty list and the government spins a wheel to decide which random person to call.  My name might not actually come up.  But if it does, it sounds like I’m in for a really annoying conversation.


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3 responses to “I hate when authority figures are catty.

  1. Thud

    You can only claim a refund (or credits) going back 4 years. At one point I hadn’t filed in 11 years. Cost me $750 for the tax preparer-guy to do it for me. Gave him a dresser-drawer full of 11 years of info-slips. He sorted it out. I only got refunds for the last 4 of those years, missed out on 7 years of refunds.

    Now I file on time every year, even if I merely put all my information slips in an envelope with a blank tax return and mail it off to CRA with a lame note as to why I can’t fill out the form (“I had to have laser eye surgery for internal eyeball damage and I had to hold my head in the same position 23 hours a day to stabilize it until there was a spot for me in the operating room”). This approach saves me handing over $50 to a tax preparer.

    Oh, one year I said the dog ate part of my work.

    • They seriously let you mail in your slips without even filling out the forms? I would not have expected that.

      Mind you, I think that’s how it should be, anyway. The government is having people basically do our taxes anyway, to double-check what we wrote. So why make us do it in the first place? Just let me mail all the relevant info, do it for me, and have an appeals process in place for if I feel like my assessment is wrong.

      Sucks that I can’t get any refunds past four years ago. I bet they don’t have the same rule for money owed

      • Thud

        I’ve repeatedly just stuffed everything into an envelope , T4’s, charity receipts, etc, and mailed it away. CRA then will do it for you. When I started getting a CA to do my taxes he was horrified by this; he said that when you mail it you need to know what you expect, otherwise there’s no hope they’ll be honest. But it worked for me, for years.

        I figure the advantage of giving him $50 is that he also gives me tax-planning tips, so I pay less tax in the next year. This is especially important for people who make some ‘self-employed’ money as you & I do.

        CRA is moving toward a system where its very inconvenient for us to get paper forms and they want everybody to submit electronically, online. If you’re already spending $4,000 a year to have internet, TV, and cellphones, then you’re already set up. But in retirement I won’t be able to afford internet let alone all the others, so I won’t be able to do my income tax returns online either, unless I go to a computer in a library.

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