Still no L.A. blog.
Normally I do my tax return about a month ahead of the January deadline, so it’s out of the way before Christmas. I have all my receipts in envelopes for each month, with the totals scribbled on them. And I have a folder in the computer of all my invoices. That and a few extra bits like PRS statements and blah is all you need. Easy peasy.This year though, I forgot until the new year – and then we were away so I couldn’t get it completed til right on yesterday’s deadline, by which time everyone else was doing it too. So obviously, when I logged on to fill the HMRC form in online, the system had crashed.
Luckily, they announced a 24 hour extension of the deadline. So this morning I tried again but they’d somehow re-written my password in the gap between last year and this year and I couldn’t log on. I had to phone again to get my account up. But then I couldn’t get the actual form to load due to some shite about their system being unable to run secure files. And by then, it’s getting on to evening and there’s nobody picking up the phone in their office.
Big clock of doom goes bong. It’s now the evening of February 1st and I still haven’t filed any kind of tax return. Technically, if it goes past midnight, I’ll be in breach of something-or-other and liable to a £100 fine, plus I’m sure they’ll come round my house to super-scrutinise me, which wouldn’t be a problem on account of my utter honesty in these matters (it’s called ‘fear of authority’) but will be fucking annoying. I’m going to give it one more try before going to bed.
The most annoying thing is: at my level of small business, my turnover is modest enough that they only need two numbers: the total the business earned in 2006/2007 and the total the business spent on deductable things. They don’t need any kind of breakdown unless I earn above a certain amount and in 2006/2007 I didn’t. So why can’t I just phone them up and tell them those two numbers, and then they could say, “Right, you owe us X hundred (or perhaps X thousand if it’s been a kick-arse year, which it wasn’t in 2006/2007) pounds, matey.” And I could pay them it.
Also, I think I have a problem with hetero man-on-man hugging style. Over the last two days I’ve hugged several male friends. Last night at the Borderline my friends Jim and Neil showed up and I hugged them hello and somehow my hugs were a bit odd, a bit sideways-y. Then Jon who is one of my oldest friends came to say hello and I hugged him too and it was the same. Then today I went for lunch with my Brighton friend Charlie who works at iCrossing and yet again, even though I’m totally relaxed with all these blokes and not scared of male contact or anything, it was a wonky hug.
Maybe it’s L.A. fucked up my hugging, or maybe I’ve always been a weird hugger. Or perhaps, since I’ve become slightly uncomfortable hugging women-friends since getting married, that’s become a habit and spilled over across the genders.