My head hurts

by Stephen Tall on January 29, 2007

Tonight, and not before time, I’ve completed my tax return. Happily, and for the first time, it appears the Inland Revenue is in my debt.

As I’d girded my loins against the usual demand for a few hundred quid this makes me happy. It also makes me worried, since I’m now convinced I’ve made a mistake in my adding up. (Heck, I’m only the guy in charge of Oxford city’s finances.)

And credit where it’s due. The online self-assessment forms are well-designed and in plain language – indeed, plain to the point of sarcasm. For example, I was amused – and when I say amused, bear in mind this was during an evening devoted to my tax return – to see this snippy aside in the guidance on whether home-workers’ water bills are tax-deductible:

The amount of water used in actually performing office related duties is likely to be nil. We accept that the room(s) have to be kept clean, but the costs of doing so are likely to be small. The cost of an occasional bucket of water for cleaning purposes will not change that.

Much more of that kind of no-nonsense sarkiness, and I could start warming to the Inland Revenue.