Sunday, June 06, 2010

My Tax Woes

When you have something hanging over your head like the Sword of Damocles, you can only wish that there is a resolution either way. Living in wait for the shoe (or sword) to drop is no fun. I've lived the last 2 years plus waiting to see if the Australian Taxation Office is going to get round to my excess super contribution that I've unwittingly made when I first started work full-time in mid 2007, contributed mainly by misleading advice and a rotten excel tool provided by my company. It's cost me plenty in stress, sleepless nights and now, when ATO has finally caught up with me, an additional $10,000 in penalties.

I've rung the ATO over the past 2 years, consulted tax people, written out drafts of what I was going to say in my appeal when the time comes and now when the time has come, I've lost the drafts. So finally, I have got my 2-page appeal out in draft and got an Australian lawyer friend to review it. But I guess, it all comes down to whether it appeals to their merciful side because nothing that happens to normal people is an exceptional circumstances according to the ATO website. It is your own stupidity, lack of judgement, trust in the wrong people including getting inaccurate professional advice. So I'm throwing myself at their mercy and asking them to "temper justice with mercy".

For about 2 seconds when I got the tax letter, I wondered if I could withdraw all my money in Australia and pretend I've never got the letter and any other future letters from them I am sure to get. But I suppose being put on the Australian Most Wanted list for tax evasion is not really worth it. So fingers crossed, but knowing how authorities are, I am not harbouring much hope really...

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