Note: Uncle Stephen is a character representative of the machinery of “The Government formerly known as The Canadian Government” and not any individual person living or dead.
I called Uncle Stephen back to ask him exactly why my estimated $2000.00 tax refund turned into a $16.20 bill. Why, I asked, did I have to lose that much of a tax refund and pay more when I had already paid extra tax all year on my paycheque?
Uncle Stephen then brought out: graphs, charts, pictures and diagrams. All of it helped to explain how I (or the tax software) had erroneously put down that I had over paid, or shouldn't have paid as much as I had on the CPP.
Well, naturally old Geoffie is fully CPP tax payable, which means I pay the most you can pay on CPP even though I can’t use it for years and even then it may not be there for me. (Don’t get me started).
It was at this point that I reminded Uncle Stephen that I had voluntarily paid extra taxes this year and so I should at least get that back. To this Uncle Stephen replied that it was good that I had paid extra taxes all year, or my bill would have been bigger. . . . I should be thankful.
I then explained how I was looking forward to that tax refund and had plans to pay off a credit card, on my way to fiscal health. I humbly asked if he could help me out somehow. Uncle Stephen looked blankly at me for a moment; he was stunned at my audacity.
“Why should I help you?” Uncle Stephen asked with a scoff.
“Because I am a Taxpayer, a Citizen,” I replied with shock and dismay.
“So? What’s in it for me?” Uncle Stephen replied with a shrug of his shoulders.
“What? Why won’t you do anything to help me?” I asked, my anger rising.
“You don’t merit my assistance,” Uncle Stephen said with a smirk as he leaned towards me.
It was my turn to stare blankly at him.
“Let me explain, “Uncle Stephen started out, “You don’t have a team of lawyers so you can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do. You are not rich enough to help me out, so we’re certainly not friends. You are not poor enough so as to at least give me a nice Photo Opportunity if I do help you out. You are in that sweet spot where most of my income comes from. You have now started to do okay, you are not rich and you are not poor. Heck most of your money goes to other people, with little left to you. We both know that you couldn't even afford to talk to a lawyer to even discuss the possibility of suing me. So why would I do anything to help you?” Uncle Stephen said with a wry smile, finishing with a chuckle.
“I am also a registered voter. . . I am your boss!” I shouted back, angry.
“My Boss?” Uncle Stephen laughed and laughed and laughed some more. “Let’s get something straight, I run your life, you don’t run mine. I tell you how much to pay me and when. I tell you what you can do and what you can’t. If you don’t like the way things are now, don’t even think of making me look bad because I may just demand more money or change the rules just to prove that I can,” Uncle Stephen said with a sneer and leaned in once more towards me.
I was angry, yet silent.
“You’re not my Boss, you’re my Bitch,” Uncle Stephen said with a chuckle as he patted my face.