Sometimes self-employment is a royal pain in the backside. Sure, I can show up to work (as I did today) wearing naught but what I slept in and looking more that a little unkempt. I could, should I feel the need, drink a beer (or two) while working. I can pretty much do whatever I like so long as I deliver the results the client likes. Everyone stays happy, everyone gets what they want, and so on.
Until our lovely government steps in.
See, this is my first fiscal year of self-employment. I am not a filing cabinet kind of guy. I’m more the “horizontal surface filing” kind of guy. Paperwork is filed by gravity. Where it stops falling towards the earth is where it’s filed. There’s a method to the madness, not unlike geology the deeper layers represent more distant past eras. But say you’re looking for all paid invoices or expense receipts or something… then this filing system is not so well-suited to your needs. My brain works strangely, so I actually somehow have a pretty decent idea where everything is, but you can only take apart and reassemble a stack of papers so many times before the organizational method degrades. Layers get mixed. Suddenly you’ve got your Paleolithic data in the Neolithic era.
I’ve actually got all my paperwork searching done now, but it was not pretty. Now I’m about to embark on the crusade of actually getting “what I’ve earned” and “what it cost me to earn it” converted into “how much the government feels entitled to”. Can this be done by a mere citizen like myself? Of course not. There’s no free online tax filing for self-employed people. No form 10-40 EZ. Hell, I get to file extra “bonus” paperwork because some of the billing I sent out this last year went to people who sing funny-sounding national anthems. (Apparently you have to submit a 5 pound stack of forms if you get paid by someone in a different country. I think the video of your original interpretive dance explaining the forms is optional. Good thing… I don’t look good in leotards.)
Instead I will employ someone else to convert my records into the holy sacrifice to the vengeful tax gods. I get to pay money to an expert to interpret the signs, read the entrails, etc.
Oh, and on the way back I’m going to buy some kind of filing thing.
We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming shortly.