I have been tardy. Lazy. I have taken my eye off the ball and I have been late one too many times.
An Irish trait? Possibly, but the taxman doesn't want to hear about it.
Monies that I have owed to him I have not paid for some considerable time.
Laziness. Also a very naive hope that perhaps he wouldn't notice (even though I'm registered for income tax).
Guess what? He noticed.
So I've been talking to the taxman. Hes actually quite a nice fella; hes been diplomatic enough not to call me a moron for failing to file last years returns (and the year before). Hes helpful and friendly and has even told me about one or two loopholes that I can can use to minimise the pain.
In return I have put my hands in the air and surrendered. I've told him its a fair cop and hes got me bang to rights. I haven't brought up Bertie Aherns name or asked him why they aren't out hunting down the real spongers. I wouldn't like to hurt his feelings.
Stupid thing is that I've been putting all this money aside. It hasn't been spent on ivory backscratchers or Italian football managers.
I feel like Ray Davies but I don't have a stately home; just a small semi-d in North Blanchardstown.
The taxman asked me how will I pay him. With tears in my eyes was my hilarious response and hey, he even did a little giggle down the phone. I've asked him why is he so friendly?
It seems they're only friendly when you've agreed to give them their dues.
Which I'll be doing pretty pronto. And with a smile on my face. He might be a great new friend but I think he'd be an even better enemy.