Taxes on tap – How to lodge your tax return in 5 easy, beery steps

They say two things are certain in life: death and taxes. (Who says this? Shut up.) 

The problem is, these things can both be quite unpleasant. I wouldn’t recommend you do them both in the same evening. So if you’ve got the choice, maybe put death off for a little longer. But you really need to get onto your taxes soon. And while taxes and death don’t go so well together, taxes and beer go very well together.Here’s how to do it. 

Step 1 – Be prepared

The beauty of the magical internet means that most of your income details are saved and autofilled on the tax website from last year—much nicer than the tedious job of copying from one piece of paper to another, as it used to be. But you may still have papers or information you need to figure out beforehand. I’d say more about this, except I am definitely not the person you want to be taxing tax advice from. So just make sure you’ve got your receipts or bank statements or spreadsheet pie graphs or whatever you need, so you don’t get stuck halfway through.

Also, if the bar is BYO food, possibly take a snack. Snacks are the actual best.

Step 2 – Go to a bar (with Wifi)

Head to your local watering hole. Make sure you go somewhere you feel comfortable, and the kind of place where you won’t be a nuisance.

The Scratch Bar, on Park Road, Milton. It's like the bedroom of your cool older cousin from the 90s.

The Scratch Bar, on Park Road, Milton. It’s like the bedroom of your cool older cousin from the 90s.

My pick, of course, is The Scratch in Milton. Bonus points if you can walk to your local.

Step 3 – Order a beer

Get yourself a damn fine beer.

This is not the time for light. This is not the time for sessionable. This is not the time for smashable. If you order a crisp-drinkable-I-can’t-believe-it-contains-alcohol kind of beer, you’ll soon be paying it no attention, just sipping it mindlessy as you work. You won’t even notice it, and it will not make your taxes experience better.

No, you need a beer with guts. A beer that surprises you with each sip, that distracts you from the pain of tax boredom. When you start trembling at Question 13, “Do you have any bank accounts containing more than $1000 but less than $500, accruing at least 0.5% interest for each car you’ve ever owned?”, you’ll need a sip of beer that slaps you in the face and says, “Get a hold of yourself! You can do this!” 

Murray's Paddington Marmalade Barleywine - a big bear of a beer

Murray’s Paddington Marmalade Barleywine – a big bear of a beer

(I had Murray’s Paddington Beer, a 10% Whiskey barrel-aged spiced marmalade barleywine. It was the stuff of dreams, and from now on I will salivate when someone mentions ’tax return’.)

Step 4 – Do taxes

This is the worst part. Just get it done. Ideally with the help of someone who is better at it than you are (or at least, better at it than I am).

The dim, dark, graininess of this photo is representative of the mood that taxes put me in.

The dim, dark, graininess of this photo is representative of the mood that taxes put me in.

Step 5 – Enjoy the disproportionate sense of accomplishment 

The guy who placed the last brick on the final pyramid at Giza knows nothing of the sense of accomplishment I feel when taxes are over for another year. He may have been whipped, starved, dehydrated, and robbed of liberty and human dignity… but I had to think about lots of numbers that I didn’t care about. Mr Pyramid Man never felt the relief of hitting ‘enter’ on his laptop and leaning back on a battered couch to finish his last sip of beer.

With the taxes out of the way, you can then enjoy your beer in a relatively low state of grumpiness.

With the taxes out of the way, you can then enjoy your beer in a relatively low state of grumpiness.

Aaaaaaand you’re done for another 12 months. Let that sink in.

Of course, this 5-step technique also works for writing a resumé. Or working on an assignment. Or writing out Christmas cards. Or drawing one of those little flip books where the man is walking down the street and gets squashed by a piano.

Basically: when you have to do Responsible Adult things, they’re more fun if you do them at a bar.*

*with the possible exception of an AA meeting. Probably don’t do that at a bar.

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