Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: income tax

Spring interlude

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I had cataract surgery the day after my last post on this blog (almost two weeks ago). The surgery went smoothly, the eye is recovering as it should and my distance vision is now as good without glasses as it was with glasses before the surgery.

So far so good. Better than good, wonderful. The problem is that after the surgery I couldn’t see well enough to read. My short range vision improved with the surgery, not enough to enable me to read with my naked eyes but enough that my glasses made everything more blurry.

A friend gave me the reading glasses he used after his cataract surgery. They were a step in the right direction, and helped me get some work done.  Last Tuesday I bought a pair that were stronger. Since then I’ve been doing more work, but these glasses distort everything else, giving me a bit of a queasy feeling.

I am very happy with the results of the surgery, but wish I had asked to delay it for at least a month. This is income tax season and I have done a number of personal tax returns since the cataract surgery, plus tried to catch up with my bookkeeping work.

I felt a headache coming on while doing one tax return Monday evening. This was a new client with income from a variety of sources. I had it all sorted out when I began getting error messages from Norton. The solution suggested by Norton was to uninstall the program, download it again and re-install it. I did that, then got a prompt to restart the computer, now or later. I pushed now and then realized that I had not saved the tax return. I think that dumb mistake, not the glasses, was the source of my headache. I guess that’s my reward for trying to work late. It wasn’t that bad, I already had the issues sorted out in my mind and could quickly re-enter the data and have a completed tax return.

The vision problem is also the explanation for why I haven’t been writing. Yesterday I bought reading glasses that have three strengths, one for reading, one for the computer monitor and one for looking at other items on the desk. They are distortion free and I think I am good to go now for the remaining four weeks until I can be tested for new glasses.

Robins and skunks on O’Malley Road

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The songbirds are back: robins, meadowlarks and others – spring has come to Saskatchewan. Sometimes we can even tell it by the weather. Last Saturday was a beautiful sunny day with a high of 22° Celsius. That would be 72° in Americanese. This morning the ground was white again for several hours and the high for the day was 2°.

This is also tax season. The personal income tax deadline is April 30, but that falls on a Saturday which makes Monday May 2 the actual deadline. I am busy getting last years books in order for my business bookkeeping clients to take to their tax accountants. I only do a few personal tax returns, mostly for seniors. Last week that led to meeting two delightful ladies, both of them 90 years old and still going strong.

Saturday I attended a Christian writers’ “wordshop” in Saskatoon. This is an opportunity to get together with other writers for mutual encouragement and to hear talks that hopefully inform and inspire us to persevere, write and publish. It is also an opportunity to buy books from our fellow writers – I came home with five.

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For years we have been having problems with creatures resembling the cute little guy above getting under our mobile home. Most of the time they are quiet, inoffensive neighbours. There have been a couple of times when some other creature troubled them and we had to leave home for a few hours to let the resulting aroma dissipate.

I think we are dealing with one persistent pair. We have tried various means to let them know they are not welcome and/or to evict them. We try to limit ourselves to methods that will not cause unpleasant olfactory results for ourselves. Saturday we set up an ultrasonic sound generator that is supposed to drive them bonkers and make them want to escape.

Today one of them ventured out of the hole under the skirting of the trailer and into  the awaiting cage trap. They are not supposed to be able to spray when confined in this small cage, but our son-in-law had to step lively to avoid a direct hit when he came to take our guest away. One down, one more to go. At least I hope that is all there is.

 

Another sign of spring

This is income tax month in Canada, the deadline for filing is April 30. I am affected by this deadline in three ways. First, there are the people for whom I prepare and file personal income tax returns, then there are my business clients for whom I have to get files ready for their tax accountant, and lastly, I have to do my own income tax return.

And yes, that will come last — the shoemaker’s children go barefoot, and all that. I am too busy with other people’s book work to prepare my own tax return.

It would be a lot simpler if people running a business could establish a completely watertight seal between their business bank and credit card accounts and their personal accounts. Very few small business people are able to achieve this. They start out with the best of intentions, but a personal bill comes up and there is money in the business account. Or they go to a supplier and use their personal credit card. Money leaks out in various ways and the bookkeeper is left to figure out where the money came from and where it went. I do my best, but the client doesn’t get the monthly financial statement he wants (and needs) until I can trace some of those leaks.

Enough complaining. Perhaps I need to start an education program. That’s high on the list for inclusion on my business web site, once I get it going (after I’ve recovered from tax season).

The tax system is complex, but then so are people’s situations. Most people are healthy and may not grasp what is involved when one or more members of a family suffer from a disability, or the results of a debilitating accident, and needs constant care, but the tax system has provisions for such situations in the form of disability credits and caregiver credits.

A new provision this year is called the family tax cut. It is most beneficial to couples where one partner works and the other stays home to care for the children. The family tax cut allows them to split their income in order to calculate the lowest amount of tax. This calculation is made in the background and only the one working pays tax. It would be difficult to work out the optimum income split with pencil and paper, but tax software does it in an instant.

Not everybody believes that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but the generosity of many people is heartwarming. The extremes that I have seen in charitable giving over the years range from the young couple with a combined income of $100.000.00 who gave $200.00 in charitable donations, to the elderly couple with a combined pension income of $26,000.00 who gave $4,500.00. Bless their hearts.

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