Friday, April 01, 2016

Beginnings and endings

April first is the beginning of the new tax year in New Zealand, which means, obviously, that yesterday, March 31, was the end of the previous year. The truth is that even after all these years in this country, I have absolutely not idea why April 1 is the changeover date.

For most wage and salary workers, and even most businesses, the change from one tax year to another isn’t a bit deal—it just happens. Self-employed people and independent contractors will sometimes delay billable work for a new tax year’s project until April first because otherwise they’d need to account for their time in the old year’s accounting—very messy, and leading to a necessary gymnastic.

All countries set their tax years to whatever they want, and very often those don’t match with nearby countries (Australia’s begins on July 1, for example). But whether they align or not, they must still be dealt with as one of the two things that are unavoidable.

This week was also an ending for me because I didn’t seek re-election to my Labour Electorate Committee (LEC), as I mentioned in February. There’s more to be said about that, all sorts of existential things, to be honest, but I’m not sure how interesting they are; I need to give it a go and see what I get. For now, suffice it to say that I had very mixed emotions, and for very many reasons.

So here we are, at the start of a new tax year in New Zealand, the start of new things for me, but also the end of my journey along many paths. It’s a good place to be.

And, like most New Zealanders, I have my taxes all in order.

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