Bill likes to think he’s organised, especially where their finances are concerned. Even though he and Kat are now officially retired, he likes to keep on top of his taxes. He keeps a spreadsheet of their small investments and superannuation returns so he feels ready for tax time. He keeps a file of their bank statements and credit card statements.

This year, as he prepared for the end of financial year, Bill noticed something odd. All of his credit card statements are where they should be, but Kat’s seemed to be missing. Where could they have gone?

“Kat!” he called. When Kat came into the room, she could see the file that Bill was holding and instantly felt a pang of guilt. She knew what the next question would be. “Where are your credit card statements? I’m trying to balance the books.”

Kat looked crushed and at that moment, they were both transported back to the time when Kat confessed her credit card stress. Yes, of course that was it. She was hiding something again.

Kat explained, “I promise I haven’t gone into the red again. It’s just that I can’t stand the sight of those letters from the bank. They bring back all the trauma. So I just throw them out.”

Bill sighed heavily. “You know I can just online and look the statements up, right? But having the hard copy makes it easier to track.”

“I’m sorry.” Kat really was sorry. She didn’t want to make Bill’s life any harder than it needed to be. He was so good with the finances and provided her with a good life, thanks to his investments.

“Ok, well, while you’re here, can you bring me any of your receipts for donations this year?”

“Oh that’s easy. Remember you created that shoebox with Donations written on the side? I’ve been putting all the receipts in there.”

Bill had forgotten about that. At least one system was working. He went to shoebox on the top shelf of the hall cupboard and was surprised to find it overflowing with receipts. “What the?”

He found raffle tickets – meat raffles, firewood raffles (they didn’t have a wood heater), craft club raffles and school raffles. He found faded receipts from the supermarket. He found a membership for the local football club. There were entrance tickets from a local National Trust property.

Bill was confused. “I don’t remember we went to that National Trust place.”

Kat cleared things up. “Oh no we didn’t. But a friend of mine did, and I asked her for the receipts for our tax. I know tax time is important to you.”

“Kat, most of this is rubbish. Most of it we can’t claim. And where’s the donation we make every year to World Vision?”

“I wasn’t sure what was tax deductible, so if I wasn’t sure I just kept it. I think I remember seeing an email about World Vision, but I thought it was junk, so I deleted it. There’s so much spam email these days.”

Bill was starting to get a headache. Kat wanted to help but she was feeling as stressed as Bill looked. Then she remembered. There was a bunch of papers she’d kept that Bill would surely appreciate. It would just take a bit of hunting to find them.

After over an hour she came back to Bill and handed over a stack of papers. “Here you go. I’ve been attending free online classes about starting a business and what you claim on tax. I thought you might like to start a business some time, so I kept all the information for you.”

Tax time is so stressfulShe looked very pleased with herself. “I’m sure I have some more somewhere. It’ll just take me a while to find them all.”

Bill was exasperated. Spreading his arms wide, he asked “Why would you think I want to start a business? I have a full-time job dealing with you and all this stuff. Instead of printing off irrelevant information, could you just spend ten minutes decluttering the hallway cupboard?”

“Bill, tax time is so stressful. I’m too busy to do anything else now.”



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