Perhaps it was because it was a wet Monday morning but today I decided to give in and file my tax return to April 2014. ( Or perhaps I just wanted to avoid the washing up, ironing or carrying on the The Next Novel.)
Whatever, I felt quite smug as I gathered together my P60s, bank statements, password and personal ID and logged onto the HMRC site where I am registered as a self-employed writer.
I went on feeling ok as I plodded through the pages, adding Nos and Yeses via all those little drop down boxes and inserting travel and other expenses, accurate to the last penny, payments for ‘good received’ – ie all those books I have yet to sell – and, most importantly, earnings.
Which is when I discovered how completely hopeless I am. My ‘business’ made a loss last year of £324! It has failed. I have gone under.
And in how pathetically small a way. If I’m going to fail I should at least do it spectacularly and I had a sudden vision of someone at HMRC calling out to his mates as my figures appeared on line.
“Come and look at this chaps and chapesses. Who does she think she is? Why is she wasting our valuable time with these quibbling little amounts?” And they would all gather round giggling at my temerity.
(It’s ok. I do know these things are done automatically. I just wonder at times.)
And then, to add insult to injury, once I had added in my vast amounts of accumulated wealth from ‘other sources’, ie my pension, they have the nerve to tell me I owe £21.43.
I just feel so small!