Saturday, April 10, 2010

C'mon chickens - hatch already, cuz I've got you counted.

We always get a fairly sizable income tax return. It's not like it's free money - it was our money in the first place, we just overpaid our income tax. (Of course by saying "our" I mean the royal we.)

Being the financier in the family, I have come to depend on this tidy sum and usually have most of it pre-spent before March rolls around. I time my car insurance renewal for mid March, we put the summer insurance on the bike- things like that.

Our refund was a little larger this year, thanks to the HRTC (home reno tax credit) which we clearly had enough receipts to claim two or three times over. So counting on this, we jumped headlong into finally turning the small back bedroom into an ensuite/walk-in closet. It was one of those wise financial decisions that I've become famous for: put everything on the Home Depot card in February, so it can be paid off with the Income Tax in March. That's the Home Depot Contractor card, which never charges interest but it must be paid off at the end of the month.

Uh yeah. What's that story about counting chickens before they hatch...

I got my tiny little refund back in the usual 6 days. But after 6 weeks Alb's more substantial sum has yet to arrive. We did receive a nice little letter this week stating that he was randomly chosen to participate in a little mini audit. Oh yay. All I can say is "Thank God it's not a major audit" one that would include the buying and selling of our rental house and the selling of the 100 acres and other such complicated matters.

They only want to audit the charitable donation portion of his income tax.

This means they want copies of not only the year end receipts from World Vision, the church etc, but copies of the cancelled cheques showing the individual dates and amounts of each donation. It's a nice concept, but not so easily followed through.

We do our part to save the environment and participate in "paperless" banking. This means we do not get our cheques sent back to us, but they are available for viewing online... for 90 days only, it turns out.

I called the Easy Line hot line to our bank and inquired about getting them to pull copies of our tithing cheques from their archives. Oh yes, they could do this for us. For $15 per cheque. Fifteen dollars! PER CHEQUE!

Now to make things doubly painful, we attend two churches. This means each week when we tithe, we tithe with two cheques instead of one.

I'm no mathmetician, but a quick calculation will tell you that cheque retrival will be somewhere around a thousand bucks. Preposterous, I know.

Something just seems incongruent to be asking for one's church cheques and the conversation being laced with F words, but that's sorta how the dialogue went down. I'll have to work on my attitude, I guess.

Meanwhile my car insurance needed renewed last week and Home Depot is looking for thirty five hundred bucks as well. But my bathroom is coming along nicely.

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