The joys of the BAS

I had one of the most frantic mornings in quite some time (involving trying to get into work by 9:30, with the kids unexpectedly at my place and one of them sleeping in an hour late)… and then, once I had got to work, something terrifying… something that brings fear into the hearts of men…

A call from the Australian Tax Office.

Well, a voicemail to be precise – they rang while I was in a meeting. The voicemail was a very polite, non-confrontational woman called Maria, asking me to ring back about my March BAS.

Uh oh. Quite frankly, I was shitting myself. What could they want? It’s not like I try to pull any strokes as far as my tax goes. But the thought of them rifling through my company accounts then demanding a huge payment for the privilege terrified me.

I looked at my phone. Since I got the data cable for it last week, I’ve been playing with things such as putting custom logos and stuff on it. What I have on it now is "Don’t Panic!", written in large friendly letters on the display. Several times it has been genuinely useful for me to read those words. It’s especially handy when I look at the clock on the phone to see if I’m running late for something.

I read these words, and calmed down. And phoned. The cheerful guy at the ATO muddled his way through his computer records and eventually found the problem – I had forgotten to add up a number on the BAS, and had therefore deprived the nation of $170. Phew. So that was all. I breathed a sigh of relief.

In the evening I forgot all my worries as a whole bunch of Goodies
fans came over to watch a few hours of old Goodies episodes. I laughed until my jaw hurt. Even something you’ve seen 20 times before is brilliantly funny when there’s a bunch of others laughing along with you.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.