Having attended the local Council writing group since its inception I’d clearly got in with the Arts Development Officer, Farrell, because whilst I offered to help her out generally I did also manage to pick up small amounts of paid work from her.
As this figure totalled something about a hundred pounds – a mighty three-figure sum and my total annual income that year – it was well below the tax threshold that even though I imagined I wouldn’t have been liable to pay tax I thought I’d probably still need to submit the appropriate paperwork. Although, saying this, I had no clue where you were even supposed to begin.
Looking into this I found that The Taxman had a page on the internet covering all of this with a list of ten frequently asked questions.
That was fine, I thought.
I can do this.
I clicked the top one to find that instead of an answer it only gave me a subset of ten more questions: I immediately extrapolated this up to a hundred questions in total and began to feel like I was drowning in complexity.
Clicking the top question again I found again only ten more questions and guessed that this now gave a total of a thousand questions…only for as long as I didn’t dare to click on anything else.
I turned the computer off, never went back, and as my annual income dropped to zero in the following years I only saw this as a positive because at least there was no phantom paperwork to worry about as I moved around the ballroom of life hoping never to bump into The Taxman: my partner in a dance of which I didn’t know the steps.