HORNER: Hey, if it works in the Senate

Parksville Qualicum Beach News columnist writes a letter to Revenue Canada

Dear Revenue Canada:

I got your latest letter the other week and thanks so much for writing, although I have to say I was a little taken aback by your tone.

From what I gather, you seem to be quite upset about a few of my latest tax returns.

Well, right off the bat I want to say there’s no reason to get upset about this. Emotions just cloud the issue. I know it has been a few weeks since you first brought this up, but I was kind of hoping you would have cooled off by now — or even just … gone away.

You aren’t going away though … right?

So with that in mind, I suppose this is probably as good an opportunity as any to set the record straight.

It is possible that I may have made a mistake on my tax forms.

I believed I was in compliance with all the rules when I filled out those forms — which are confusing — but it turns out I may have been mistaken in that regard.

I don’t believe I owe you any money, but this has become a major distraction, so my girlfriend and I discussed it and we decided that in order to turn the page, to put all of this behind us, we are going to voluntarily pay back all the money we received as the result of what, really, is just an accounting error.

One thing you might want to think about in future is to make those tax forms less confusing so other people like me will not be caught in this problem. I mean, I’ve made my living as an investigative journalist for more than 20 years and even I can’t figure them out. All those ticks and boxes and yesses and nos …

You know, I could just as easily have erred the other way and ended up paying far more than I should have. The fact that the mistake — and that form was confusing — turned out to be tens of thousands of dollars to my benefit is just the luck of the draw, nothing more.

Hey look, come on, you remember me! It’s the Neilster! You’ve known me for years and you know that I would never do anything that was inappropriate and I would never, ever take advantage of my position in any kind of inappropriate way!

To recap then, I’m paying back the money, I’ve provided useful input into the future makeup of tax forms and I’ve told you that you can trust me.

So that should pretty much put this all behind us, right guys?


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