Last night I began the task of sorting all my papers from 2010 into piles.
There are shipping cost piles, art supply piles, utility bill piles, packaging supply piles, energy pile, gas pile, two insurance piles, an oil pile, cleaning supply pile, mortgage pile, car cost pile, an office supply pile, printing supply pile, sale piles, room rental receipts, local sales piles, an advertising pile, a personal pile and these piles don’t include the copious amounts of online presence, fees, hosting costs, contracts or sales on the web piles.
Needless to say, I’m overwhelmed with the paperwork from operating two businesses and at a point where I feel like writing to the Government of Canada OMG wait… it’s now the damn Harper Government and demanding that poor people shouldn’t have to provide proof of income in fact no one living in Canada should have to provide proof of income. If they want to know how much money someone earned then they can come and do all the paperwork for me as I can barely afford to buy food right now let alone take time away from working to prepare my tax return.
Have you ever seen that New Brunswick social services commercial where the lady has to choose between eating a can of food or paying her rent? I’m in that situation and it has nothing to do with overspending, not budgeting enough for this or that, not working hard enough or making bad decisions with my money. It has everything to do with getting sick at an inopportune time, renting to an idiot last fall and not qualifying for health insurance, one bad art sale where I earned one third of what I earned the year’s previous sale, being single with no children in Canada combined with dramatic increases in the cost of food, home insurance and high rises in the general cost of living over the last two years.
And therein lies the crux of the matter. I earn barely enough to survive. And right now, I’ve gone through all my pennies. I need to laugh. Haha! It’s not all doom and gloom.
People who are employed and receive a T4 from an employer and who complain about taxes have it easy at income tax time. I’m not saying paying taxes are easy… all I’m saying is that you do not have the tremendous amount of paper work that someone who is self employed has. Please don’t ever complain about having to prepare your simple income tax forms. I know the difference as I used to work for somebody else too.
Self employed people in Canada have it the roughest. Self employed poor people have it even rougher. I have the same amount of income tax paperwork to do as someone who runs a large company.
And I’m not angry at anyone. I made these life and career choices. Really, I’m trying to find the positive in this. I’m trying to find the courage to overcome this. I even thought about getting a job, any job, and seriously looked for one in January and February but it’s not enough money to even make a difference so I worked very hard and got one room rented to a nice man and have another room rented for next month to someone who lived here last year. and each of those men will be here through to the Fall of the year. Those two room rentals pay me what I’d earn working at a part-time job. And room rental is a part-time job. I can’t count how many people say I’m lucky having the rental income… where is the luck in this? I work at it and clean those rooms and give up my privacy in exchange for money.
On the other hand, I get to have wonderful people to share my home with which is socialization that I so desperately need. It keeps me happy and keeps me going and in a weekly cleaning routine. I’m generally happier with people living in my home. And that in turn allows me to think more clearly and do the (tax) things that under Canadian law I must do.
I also know the bad times don’t last forever and that there is always a silver lining or upside to the downside. I have never asked for nor applied for a government handout, I’ve never applied to help pay for my health-care costs or housing. Maybe I’m too proud or maybe I’m just stubborn. I miss having the safety net of Employment Insurance and even though they’ve opened up to allow self employed people into the EI program… it won’t work for me as the income I earn from room rental will cancel out any benefit that I’d receive when underemployed, sick or pregnant. My life is a catch 22.
I do beleive things are changing though as my health improves ever so slowly. I hadn’t realized how bad I actually was until five or six weeks into taking Synthoid did my body and mind go “This is what I’m supposed to feel like and how did I even manage before?”.
I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get the latest round of blood test results. Sadly, I’m feeling as low as I did in early January, meaning I’ve likely plateaued on the Synthroid and need the dose increased.
Anyhow, this is what I’ve been up against over the last five months. And everyday I’m grateful for family and friends both on and offline who provide the positive energy I need to keep going and finally rise above and overcome this mess. Thank you, all, for that.
And keep in mind that income tax was only created as a temporary measure to pay for the wars and now that war continues against the disappearing middle classes and poorer classes in Canada.
And it makes me laugh because even Missy the cat is shaking her head in disgust sitting on the paperwork.