02/26/2004: "tax time"
It's that time of year again; Death. No, wait, taxes. Always get those confused. In any case, it's time to gather up all the little pieces of paper telling you how many pieces of paper you earned this year, how much the government sto... er, required you to give up, and see what shakes out. Of course, this means it's high time for some stupidity, right?
Way back when I was a kid my mother introduced my brother and I to the stock market by purchasing each of us just over 3 shares each of Bell Canada. So each month my brother and I would get dividend cheques, in the amounts of just over a dollar, sometimes not even fifty cents. This in and of itself was fairly ridiculous, spending at least that in postage just to send us a cheque. (Of course, we had signed up in the dividend re-investment program, which means they shouldn't have been sending us cheques in the first place, but that's another story.)
Well, in the mail last week I got something that topped getting a sub-dollar cheque. I will apologize in advance for the size, but you can see a scan of this Official Piece of Tax Paper. To help you figure out what this paper is telling me, I've highlighted the significant portion.
Can you believe it? One freaking cent. I get to claim one measly, puny cent in interest from my workplace savings program for fiscal 2003. How much has this piece of paper cost to send me? How much further processing will it take up? This is probably the most expensive cent I've ever seen. I'd better save it.
This alone is reason for me to finally agree that we should abolish the penny and simply do business in five-cent increments. Heck, for tax purposes, why don't we just round down to the nearest dollar, and any income or claim below $10 gets summarily ignored? (I'm not suggesting we can't claim individual business expenses below $10, I'm just saying you can't claim the $5 you gave to Ronald McDonald house, and you won't get dinged for leaving off the $4.72 in interest you got last year from your term deposit.) Sound good?
I hope I can find which line of my return to put it on.