Paying the Tax (The Tax Collector) oil on pane...

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Having just labored over and electronically lodged my tax return (how tremulously the finger hovers on the “send” button!), I now sit back and ponder.

The question of taxes is not a light one. A conflicted standoff over how much and under what circumstances and “what for?” recently brought our inhabited cosmos to the brink of financial collapse. At what point does individual freedom and enterprise trump the common good and vice versa? And is the question as pure as this? How do prejudices, hidden agendas, old wounds and ancient fears influence what I’m content to give and what I seek to withhold from the tax collector?

But these are philosophical questions – my preoccupation has been with getting a necessary task out of the way. And no matter how simple and dumbed down the questions are in the “electronic interview”, why do I feel that I may have misunderstood something and not answered it correctly? Which is worse, a human wagging finger with a frown behind it or a faceless, electronic warning to make sure you have it all absolutely correct before hitting the lodgement button?

I think I prefer the censorious accountant, but the latter is quicker and easier .