Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tax returns are like quilting

I teach quite a lot of machine quilting classes and it's become very clear that the biggest problem people have with quilting is other people. They've heard that quilting (the actual stitching three layers together bit) is hard, and boring. The tedious bit you have to do but wish you didn't. So my main job is to change that bit of programming in their head. I do tell students that getting started in quilting is a slight of mind trick. It's usually pretty successful. Most students leave vowing to quilt at least some of their quilts. OK they may all have different abilities and styles but they leave understanding that quilting isn't a big fearsome beast. Hopefully they will pass the message on and over time this glitch will be removed from quilters worldwide. I can dream right.

Anyway what does this have to do with tax? Quite a lot really. Every year I put off doing my tax return. In fairness it does come up in the middle of show season so time is tight, but I could do it in September easily enough. Yet I don't. Maybe that doesn't sound odd, after all we all know it's a real pain to do a tax return, or do we? Is it really that bad? Is it really bad at all? If I am honest I quite like doing it. OK the problems I had yesterday with their website weren't much fun. Being on hold for so long to report the fault wasn't the most exciting way to spend time either, but that was largely my fault (and that of many others I suspect) for leaving it till the last minute. The actual accounting and numbers though I really enjoy. I like having it done so I can review how my business is doing and knowing what I owe the tax man is good too. I don't have to worry about it once I know where I stand. So why don't I do it? I think it's because I know it is difficult. Yes I know it isn't, but everyone else knows it is and I seem to have bought the message. How embarrassing, caught by a dodgy message when I really should know better. I know there is a Heinlein quote along the lines of anything every one knows ain't so, I've read it several times and yet I still fall for it. Doh!

Beware the things we think we know.

1 comment:

Penny said...

Tax returns are all about numbers nd algebra. Numbers are fun things to play with.

When I've had tax returns, I've enjoyed doing them as well.