What do I pay my taxes for?
Taxes. Nothing surer in life, they say, than death and taxes. Australia has some of the highest personal income taxes in the world. I pay. Every year. Have done since 1974. I’d like some service in return!
Last week I tried to call the Family Assistance Office. I’ll be honest, I really do not understand all this Family Assistance; Tax Benefit A, Tax Benefit B, Child Care Benefit and all the other stuff. This is after I read the 30 pages of documentation available to help the poor, ignorant members of the general public like me understand this highly complex system.
Things have changed since I was young. First Home Owners grant came along well after I ever bought my first house. Then we had a Baby Bonus. Missed out on that too. No idea what else I missed out on. In the olden days if we had dependent children and/or a dependent spouse, we just claimed them on our tax return. Now we have some highly complicated system that I am not even going to try to understand.
I just put in my claim. Leave the complexity to others was my logic! I was asked to prove my identity and my Australian citizenship. Did that. Had to prove the children existed. Did that. Was asked for my husband’s tax file number. Did that. On that visit I asked what happens next. I was told “they” would write to me in two weeks.
Having heard nothing, last week I tried to call. I vented my frustration on Twitter! Chirps (I refuse to “tweet”) have to be read from the bottom up, of course.
On this last weekend I went to the website and logged in to see if that gave me any information. Not a thing. What I DID find was a way to ask for a call back from the department. YAY! What a great idea, I thought. I duly completed the form and expected a call Monday or Tuesday.
How could I have been so naive? With my luck, why would I expect a call? Have I been blackballed by the public service I wonder? Is the call back request system not monitored? Is this a department with not enough staff to provide an adequate service to the public? Where are my taxes really going? Funding politicians overseas fact-finding missions, I know that. Funding crazy political advertising campaigns? Did my request for a call back go to the bottom of the pile because my name is no longer Smith, Jones or Brown?
22 minus 15 equals 7. Is that still correct these days, or have maths changed too? Seven days after I tried to talk to this department I’ve still not managed to actually achieve communication. Am I expecting too much?
It is annual tax return time in Australia. Let’s hope THAT is trouble free for me! Please!
Maybe we expect too much as we get older!