Wednesday 2 February 2011

"They Are Like Sacrifices To Tribal Gods?"

So asks Leela of taxes in the Doctor Who story, The Sunmakers (below). The Doctor's response very much reflects how I feel now:

"Well, roughly speaking, but paying taxes is more painful."

As with last year, I've just done my tax return. For the last couple of years I've earned so little money acting that I've received a tax rebate in January, because I had paid too much tax in other jobs. It was very convenient to get a rebate in January and in all honesty I got used to it. Not so this time.

In the tax year 2009-2010 I earned a bit more than usual and crucially the temp agency I had worked for did not make any deductions for tax. So there I was at the end of January with no money and having to find £[undisclosed amount] to put into the coffers of Her Majesty's government.

Now £[undisclosed amount] may not sound like much for a year's taxation, but I really hadn't made a lot of money and once I'd paid off some debts from a period of unemployment following the 2008 Dickens debacle, I wasn't exactly rolling in it. I'd hardly been reckless with money and then I found myself in a similar position again.

I have no problem with paying tax. I'm glad that it is spent on the NHS, education, pensions and what little arts funding there is left, but in an age of what seems like remorseless cutback after remorseless cutback, I have my doubts.

George, you'd better spend it wisely.

You owe me that much...

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