The papers were strewn all over. Jayant, my MNC honcho friend had his head buried so deep into them that when Pappu Singh sent tea through Chottu, the boy took it back saying there’s no space to keep the cups next to the ‘headless customer’.
“I’ve never seen you so stressed Jayant,” I said. “Don’t you think your work is just taking over your life?” “It’s not work,” he replied with an exasperated look. “I’m going crazy finishing the paperwork for my own tax calculations.” Huh? Oh God, this just reminds me that the time I dread most in the year is here.
Some nice departments in my own office who I hear from only at this time of the year, had also sent me a few nice mails in Latin, followed by some not-so-soft warning mails in Greek, on how I was supposed to fill in advance tax forms, submit copies of expense bills, give PF details and what have you, by a certain ‘deadline’ (which was dead and buried last month). I can’t take this stress of doing all this paperwork to save, and even to give, taxes.
Can you? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the concept of paying taxes when they are due. But it’s the very thought of maintaining records, filling ten thousand forms, obtaining copies of income, PF and bank statements etc, which gives me shivers in 34 degrees celsius. And I’m not alone. I’ve not come across a single friend who doesn’t look haggard around the ‘closing’ period of the financial year. It’s like this period marks the closing of all those doors in your life from which fresh air used to waft through. Friends don’t take calls, accounts department staff doesn’t reply to your chirpy hellos, relatives don’t attend parties, chartered accountants come home at un-godly hours (if at all) — all in the name of ‘closing’.
Government on it’s part tries to tell us every year that they’ve made the system saral by reducing paperwork, introducing e-filing etc. But I’m too scared to even try an unknown devil as I find myself physiologically incapable of understanding tax calculations. Ask me my PAN number and I’ll nervously blurt out hubby dear’s phone number. He would know. He should know. Men are supposed to take care of all the financial crap. We are supposed to cook…right ? Ok, I know I’m about to be attacked by women organisations for saying what I just did. But my problem remains the same. There’s no calmness possible around this time of the year for people like me who thrive in a state of disorganised existence. Hail the tribe of chartered accountants!
Sonal Kalra has just learnt the formula of calculating tax. It’s switch off the phone + run away to hills = let the office deduct what they wish to. Simple. Mail your calmness tricks to her at email@example.com