It’s tax time.

No it aint, I hear you say. Yes it is.

Robinson and I always leave our taxifying until at least the calendar year after it should have been done. It’s a little tic we have, based on being slapdash and disorganised.

This year I’ve spent two days of my life trying to link a MyGov account to the Australian Taxation Orifice (ATO) so that I can access my group certificate for when I was last a working man. My old employer – our trusted ABC – no longer issues group certificates, apparently, and sends them directly to the ATO instead.

No doubt this is part of the grand sweep of ‘improving our service to you’, like those COVID cancelled bus routes that used to take me to the beach, or banning singing and dancing, or forbidding laughing, or letting me pick on trans kids.

Having my own group certificate was probably ‘red tape’ anyway, ruining my life, and now fixed by a bonfire of bureaucracy!

But those were cluttered, carefree days.

It’s probably not impossible to link a MyGov account to the ATO, as required, but so far I haven’t managed to do it. After two days of trying, and automated promises that someone would call me back when my call got to the front of the queue – but didn’t – I can only guess at the fatigue and rage of Centrelink clients and the ‘services’ they need to navigate.

Apoplectic, I phoned my accountant in tears.

He reassured me they could access my group certificates via their tax ‘portal’, even if I couldn’t. I should stop trying and stop crying, he said.

Chastened, humiliated, still snivelling, I stuffed into an envelope all the donation receipts and scraps of scribbled paper that amount to our tax records and walked them to the post office portal and mailed them into space. I walked back through the parks where dogs were playing.

I felt light as a feather. It was the best day ever.

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