Very few people like paying taxes. I know I don’t.
I understand why I need to and that it is my duty as a responsible citizen. I understand that my taxes help toward the cost of running the country and also that I get a lot of perks in return like free healthcare, security, infrastructure and education – although I don’t have kids, I am happy to participate as other people children are part of my own future.
It doesn’t make me any happier when I get my reduced pay packet. In the UK, for the majority of employees, tax is taken at the source. The employer deducts tax and National Insurance (the healthcare bit) from our wages. It’s a great way of doing things as it means that whatever money we get is ours to spend. No need to remember to save part of it for the taxman, no risk of forgetting or spending it on other things.
However, not everyone is covered by this system. Self-employed workers, for example, have to file their own tax return and they are responsible for paying their own tax.
Others, like me, fall under both categories. I am taxed at the source in my main job but, because of its nature, I need to have other sources of income that I need to declare myself which I do religiously as I don’t want to get fined. I do it online as it is very simple and it tells me straight away how much I need to pay.
Yesterday I got a letter from HMRC (for my non-UK readers that’s the tax office). As a general rule it is not the kind of letter you want to get but, as I had paid everything I owed on the very same day that I had filed my tax return, I opened it without too much trepidation.
Imagine my delight when I pulled out a cheque for over £350!
It was a tax rebate. Somewhere along the line I had overpaid. It would have been nice to know where and when but I’m not going to nitpick. Today, anyway, I’m in love with the taxman.