Thursday, August 6, 2009

Born free - Taxed to death

I am dutifully paying bucket loads of money to the Australian government. And this I do with joy, because I can actually see the government doing something with it. Although I am not very much impressed with the fact that they were throwing around lump sum cash payments a while ago.

The whole process of filling in your tax forms and trying to understand new tax laws in a new country is not funny. I could barely understand the tax laws in Namibia, and now I have to study all the paragraphs and sub-paragraphs and try to read between the lines all over again.

At least I have the option of filing my tax electronically via eTax, which I did not have in Namibia. And the great part of this is that the government actually gives you plenty of opportunity to get back some of your hard-earned money from the Tax Office. They even pay it directly into your bank account once you've crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's correctly.

But the down side is that I still have the Namibian government on my back as well. Apart from my annual tax on the few Namibian dollars I earned before I left last year, there is also tax on my Trust Fund and my (pty) company, which I was dumb enough to start up a few months before I got a job offer from an Australian company. What cracks me up is the thought that a big chunk of these hard-earned Namibian dollars are being used to build a lavish palace for a murdering terrorist who is now called a hero, and a "father of the nation".

In order to kill this pty company of mine (which never even started doing business) I need to fill in 600 forms with signatures and declarations, and wait 18 months in the hope that one day the money I threw into the water would finally be let loose into the Namibian desert, without haunting me with more auditing and accounting fees. Thousands of dollars to audit a dormant company with a zero return. What a great way to burn money.

And in order to finalise my personal tax, I need to have odometer readings from my vehicles, which have all been sold many moons ago.

All these tax issues attack me all at once, as if I don't have enough cool stuff to do.

And the easiest way to handle them all is to treat them as equals - ignore all of them on an equal basis. Maybe they will all just go away.

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