Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Truly Taxing Tale

Twelve years ago, I moved across the river from Ottawa, Ontario to Aylmer, Quebec. It was an affair of the heart. I gave up living in an anglophone environment and settled into life as the partner, and later spouse, of a lovely francophone.

A lot of things are cheaper on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Housing prices, gas, beer. You know. The essentials.

The one thing that's not cheaper are taxes. And it's not enough I get taxed at a higher rate in this province but now the Quebec Revenue agency wants even more of my money.

The tax filing deadline in Quebec is the same as it is federally in Canada: April 30.

But in mid-March I received correspondence from Revenue Quebec telling me that based on past years' claims, I would owe enough in taxes to be able to pay in instalments. The letter then went on to tell me the first instalment was now due.

I think Revenue Quebec has found a novel way to pay the construction bill 
for their lovely looking headquarters. Look, ironically it's made of gold!

Excuse me? I haven't even determined my total taxes, nor filed my return and you want my first payment? Forget that. That'd be like claiming a royalty on a song you hadn't written yet. (Hey, good analogy!)

Thinking this was an option, I ignored the letter. I really preferred to pay a lump sum once I knew how much I owed.

I filed my taxes through my accountant electronically.

Then Revenue Quebec sent me a confirmation letter with a slight addition. They were charging me interest on the instalment I hadn't paid before filing my taxes.

Reluctantly I paid my taxes, with interest, at my bank.

When the teller asked how she might help me I said "I'd like to pay my taxes." It was a lie. I wasn't liking paying my taxes one bit.

End of story?

You knew better.

Last week I received a phone call from Revenue Quebec. Seems I hadn't paid my 2008 taxes. Excuse me? Of course I had. Not according to their records.

Well, according to my records I had, I found reference to the payment, and the date of the payment in an old cheque book ledger. Ha!

Yesterday I received 2 letters from Revenue Quebec on the same day.

The first confirmed I owed $0 on my 2008 taxes.

The second one told me a $98 processing fee had been added to my tax debt.

I now have a serious purple bruise in the middle of my forehead.


Mike said...

Now THAT, is classic bureaucracy. They'll get our money one way or another.

nonamedufus said...

Well, I don't know about yours, Mike, but they sure as hell seem to be getting mine.

Quirkyloon said...

Argh! Government. Who needs them. Oh yeah, we do, cuz then it would be all Lord of the Flies. Gah. People. Bring on the soylent green!

I hate taxes.

so there.

heh heh

Linda Medrano said...

Damn! Can you protest this? I'd be outraged. Write a letter at least. Show your documentation. It's not the $98, it's the principle (or in this case, the interest).

nonamedufus said...

I don't recall them paying taxes in Lord of the Flies.

nonamedufus said...

Principle/interest = good one. Oh, I'll be protesting. There's a 1-800 number to call and I will.

P.J. said...

Holy smokes! Talk about ridiculous. These are the type of stories I start out with "I can't make stuff like this up..."

nonamedufus said...

Oh, exactly. I wish I had made it up. Less expensive that way.

00dozo said...

You'd better be protesting this. How presumptuous to the point of arrogance! Then again, it is Quebec. ;-)

After my father passed in '96, Rev. Canada kept sending me letters to pay for his outstanding back taxes. Yeah, right. I guess they thought he had all kinds of money stashed away. If that were the case, I didn't know about it and he certainly would have paid his taxes. Tired of being harassed, I almost threatened to give Rev. Canada a pound of his flesh, as it were, in payment. But he was cremated. Apparently there are laws about improper disposal of cremains.

nonamedufus said...

I don't know who these guys think they are. This is out and out usury. It's upsetting and unsettling that a government can actually do this. Stay tuned. You haven't heard the end of this.

00dozo said...

You're right. It is usury and it is illegal - I don't care if it's the government. You just can't collect interest - and/or a "processing fee" - for something that doesn't yet exist.

You've got some pull in the public reporting sector, no? Go to the bloody Montreal Gazette! Make a bigger stink than those damn students (even though I have no idea to what they protest)!! You can do it!

(Dang, now you got my old "legal secretary" back up. Grrrr.)


Seriously, I'd definitely take them to task.

MalisaHargrove said...

First of all, I had to look up two words. I could figure out the meanings of the words by the context of the sentence, but I wanted to make sure that you weren't pulling a fast one on me! :) In my part of the country, I guess I could be living with Tex-Mexophones. Who knows? All I know is that the Internal Revenue and/or Revenue Quebec is evil and not fair! I want the IRS to treat everybody equal before I pay another dime, but, of course, that won't happen. They always win because they are the evil empire!

On a good note, I am happy to see that you are listening to Willie! Woo Hoo!

nonamedufus said...

I'm gonna give you the 1-800 number and have you call for me.

nonamedufus said...

Yes the tax folks are the evil empire, believe me. As for Willie, I just love the song Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die. it's just so Willie.

Nicky said...

Bienvenue à la belle province! Fight the man, mon ami. Tu es capable!

Seriously, RQ sucks. I hope you manage to straighten it out, Dufus.

nonamedufus said...

Merci, Nicky. Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?

Mike said...

The Feds, not that much but my city taxes are killing me.

nonamedufus said...

They're really going beyond a pound of flesh...all levels of government.

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