I haven't even finished my plan for the year, and I can see I am already behind. There's no hope of billing enough in January to meet my goal for this month. So I'll need to double up somewhere else, or just accept the fact that I set the target too high.
Meanwhile, everyone else wants money and the forms are just starting to roll in.
Every association I belong to wants me to send in my membership renewal. The subscription reminders are going to start showing up any day now. And tax filing in all its glory is just around the corner.
If you have SOHO or SME customers, I suspect they are in the same mood. They have the January grumbles.
I got the GST filing form yesterday. And thank goodness, because it didn't turn up last year, which became a real hassle. [I tried to netfile, but you can't netfile without the form, don't ask me why.] There are four pages in this packet, printed on both sides. I've been trying to find the filing deadline.
I've just finished scouring the darn thing yet again, hoping to avoid another frustrating visit to the CRA web site. Because being late is so expensive, I am starting to get twitchy and paranoid about the whole thing. I think that's exactly where they want me: twitchy, confused and paranoid.
No matter how much the government claims to be making the process simpler, business taxes are a mine-field. There's pointy things with trip-wires just waiting for you. I know a lot of smart business people, people with a lot of education, people who can cope with tremendously complex issues, people who can run big stuff and run it well. And invariably we get snagged on some tax issue when we are running our own virtual organization.
These snags usually cost thousands of dollars to fix. I heard about another one just recently, a tale of woe from an honest guy, someone I respect and trust, who inadvertently screwed something up and is now in the glue big time.
I was thinking about this when I spoke to my insurance company a few days ago. My spouse usually handles the car insurance. But he can't anymore because of privacy rules. The renewal letter clearly states that only the named insured can talk to them. It's a lot like talking to the tax man.
They seem friendly enough, but they're always fishing around, just like some kind of tax auditor. "By the way, do you use the car to commute to work?" "No, I work from home." "Really, that's interesting," he says,"what kind of work can you do from home?" "Marketing research," I say. "Consulting. That kind of thing." Where has this guy been living, I wonder? "Oh, so you have clients coming in to your home then?" he asks, with a gotcha sound to his voice. "No, my clients do not meet me in my home," I have to repeat several times before we have to revisit the commuting thing. Then he starts in on business equipment in the house. I am finally able to shut that down by telling him I have business insurance from another company. Gotcha, I think to myself.
Sadly, you can never call gotcha on the government because there is no alternative supplier of taxation services.
In the private sector, you can't make a dime without improving your productivity every year. Customer and consumer expectations are high and rising for all of us. Every time I hear an exhortation from the public sector about how we need to raise our productivity, I think about the time and effort spent dealing with the public sector.
OK, rant over. We now resume our regular programming.
Another wonderful film in the Prelinger Archive provided the stills for this post: Despotism, made in 1946.