I smiled as my next clients hesitantly knocked on my office door.

“Please, come in, Mr & Mrs Cartwright.”

I absently rubbed the back of my neck as they settled into their seats. Mr Cartwright was an
upright gentleman that somehow seemed uncomfortable in his slightly worn suit. I wagered
he would be much more at home astride his ATV, eyes alert as he surveyed his extensive
flock of merinos. Mrs Cartwright was perched on the edge of her seat, handbag clutched on
her lap. She watched me expectantly, flicking occasional glances at her tall husband – no
doubt to ensure he was paying attention.

“Well, we’ve completed your tax returns for last year,” I pushed a folder over to them,
“Check through them and, if you’re happy, sign where I’ve put the pink tabs.”

They took the tax returns and quickly flicked through the multi-page documents.

“I reckon we’ll just have to trust you, mate,” drawled Mr Cartwright, “We’ve got no idea how
all this tax stuff works.”

“This final print-out is the same as the draft copies sent out to you last week, Mr Cartwright.
As discussed then, there have been a number of changes in the law this year that have
impacted on how we treat some of your expenses. They have also thrown in a couple of new
tax-offsets for primary producers. Do you want me to go over any of those with you?”

While I waited for their reply I restrained the urge to scratch the back of my neck.

“Well, no, I don’t think so,” answered Mr Cartwright, “Those fact sheets you gave us were
pretty clear about what we are entitled to.”

“And what we are not,” Mrs Cartwright added wryly.

“C’mon, Nance,” Mr Cartwright addressed his wife, “Lets get this over with. I’ve got a fella from up North coming about a new stud that’s producing ultra fine microns.”

A few dozen signatures later the elderly couple were on their way. Just as they were leaving Mrs Cartwright turned.

“I honestly don’t know how you keep up with all these new tax laws. It’s a marvel how you manage it.”

After they had gone I tapped a few keys on the computer and sent the Cartwright’s tax returns winging through cyberspace to the Tax Office. Then I could resist no longer and scratched my neck furiously. Irritably, I punched the intercom.

“Jo, could you book an appointment with the Meditech? This damn jack is giving me Hell.”
With that I jerked the plug out of the base of my skull and sighed with relief as the soft chatter of the Tax Office On-line Tax Link faded from my mind. I’d better get that fixed before my next appointment.

By Dianne M Dean from Australia



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