austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

When I'm in the middle of a dream

I did my taxes too, for those who were waiting eagerly for word from me. In the past years my US taxes have been ridiculously simple since I didn't earn anything in the United States, giving me an exemption for the first US$82,400 of my earnings, which covers them all. In the Singapore system since my only employer reports my earnings right to Inland Revenue and my charitable donations are also reported automatically, so that all I do is fill out a form confirming that there's nothing going on that they don't know about, and they calculate my tax bill and send it to me a couple months later. Then I have a month to dispute it or just pay it, and I just pay it.

This year, since I've left Singapore, the Singapore side of things is slightly different: my employers had to turn over a completely different form stating my total income, and they'll use that to calculate my tax bill and send it to me. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore suggested I could contact my employer and remind them to send in the form, if I felt like, but otherwise my role is one of being a minor roadblock in the efficient administration of the tax code.

For my United States taxes, well, the same documented nothingness applies. I wasn't sure whether to mail my taxes in to the address appropriate for New Jersey filers or for overseas filers -- I could make the directions ambiguous about this -- and decided to go with the overseas address since they're used to all the weird forms foreign companies have in place of W-2 forms. When I went to mail things off, the lady working the register at the post office asked if I wanted express delivery. I had plenty of time to the deadline and besides, it's the postmark that counts, so I said no. She asked if I wanted delivery confirmation. For tax forms that seemed like a not-bad idea, so I agreed. She then asked if someone should sign for it. I couldn't imagine who would specifically sign for the world's most boring tax forms, Region 1 edition, so said no. She then said nothing more about delivery confirmation or whatnot, and just got the postage for regular first-class delivery. I have the disquieting feeling I've offended, somehow.

Trivia: In 1856 Russian Czar Alexander II had eracted a monument for a 14th century Flemish fisherman named Benkels, who Alexander said invented barrel-packed herring and moved to Finland (giving Scandinavians the idea). Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.

Currently Reading: The Dopplegänger Gambit, Lee Killough.

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