Friday, December 30, 2016

Not much about knitting. here...

But: my sister’s husband Roger sent me this excellent picture of his Whiskey Barrel socks. He said he didn't write until he had done five miles in them. They have passed the test well. They looked awfully big when I finished them, but on him they look about right, for serious walking socks.

And I have only four scallops to go, before the edging of Mrs Hunter’s shawl is finished. There’s still time to get them done before the bells (as we say around here, and probably elsewhere around the world).

January, however, will have to be devoted to the Income Tax, as November and December were to Christmas. And the difference is, that unsent Christmas cards result in losing touch with old friends, which is bad enough – but unfiled tax returns are regarded rather more severely by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

A dear Oberlin friend writes a private blog, almost daily, greatly treasured, addressed to a few dozen family members and old friends. She is within a year of my own age, on the shady side – but she seems far more energetic than I am. She was struggling with accounts the other day, and wondering how long she was going to be able to carry on doing it.

The trouble is, as far as I can see, having an accountant do it means getting all the info together for him, just as now, and then paying him a very substantial sum to do the easy bit. If I became incompetent, poor Alexander would have to do it – he has our power of attorney.  And I don’t see any halfway house.

So my resolution for ’17 is to keep finances in order day by day. At the moment, there is a considerable pile of money-related papers on a table in the Catalogue Room. I made a good start today at sorting through and filing them:

a)       Papers relating to ISA’s and PEP’s, which HMRC is not interested in.
b)      Papers relating to dividends and interest payments, which HMRC wants to know about
c)       Bank statements
d)      The OhmyGawd pile – did I pay that bill? What shall I do about the building society account which is being “treated as dormant” because I haven’t done anything with it lately? And I haven’t renewed Rachel’s subscription to Delicious magazine.

It doesn’t sound quite so bad, when I spell it out like that. I hope to get a lot more done tomorrow with the other papers on that table, and then – next year! – get started on the tax return itself.


  1. I love the OhmyGawd pile. I seem to have an OhmyGawd drawer in my desk which is nagging at me; maybe as you say, next year!

  2. Anonymous1:50 AM

    I think there are many considerably younger than you who only dream of your annual list of knitting accomplishments! Please keep up knitting amazing projects.
    I feel the taxes have to be simpler than some of those shawls you can created.
    Best wishes for 2017!
    LisaRR in Toronto

  3. The first time I took in my taxes to have someone else do it, I was irritated by his requiring that everything be all sorted and he would fill in the blanks. I've been doing my own taxes ever since. Fortunately my fiscal existence is not complex.

    1. =Tamar8:32 PM

      I pay my accountant a considerable sum to do the sorting out. I feel that I have done my part by putting all things tax-related into the same box all year.
      I have an OhmyGawd house.

  4. I have my taxes done by an accountant. I only do it b/c I am self employed and just don't want to rely on myself to get it done correctly when I am trying to keep the money coming in. That said, getting everything together for the accountant is no easy task and takes time (usually two whole days). To top it all off, his staff has made two fairly serious errors in the last two years so I am looking for a new accountant. Life isn't simple is it? I would rather spend that time knitting.

  5. The Senior Cat does use a "tax accountant". It's less stressful for him and the charge is very reasonable. They know one another quite well by now and, when they were last together, the accountant complained about the "shoebox clients" - people who quite literally bring in all their bits and pieces of paper in a box and expect him to sort it out!

  6. Those are pretty skookum socks there!! And they look like they fit perfectly, too. I love tax season. Organize by thing - it's the easiest. Put all the Knitting on top.

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  7. Your practice of keeping all the papers in one place is key.Running all over the place looking for bits of paper is exhausting and doesn't leave any energy to actually do the paperwork. Is there a U.K. version of Turbo Tax (tax prep software for use by the home enthusiast)? Different members of my family have used it successfully.

  8. Every year when I sit down to pull my tax information together I swear I will do it as I go along each month. Please let me know if you manage to do this and share the inspiration. At least our taxes in US are not due in January- that would be so difficult after the holidays.