Saturday, 17 April 2010

I'm a predult

I was thinking last week about how I pretty much function okay in life, I mean today I broke my previous record for number of consecutive days alive. But then every now and again something comes along and makes me want to scream for my mummy. Last week that thing was a tax return form.

How does everyone else know what to do with these? Did you all go on a course that I'm not aware of? Are there "learn to be an adult" courses? Books? How do I know how to sort my washing without dyeing everything first? Where are eggs located in most supermarkets? And for that matter, how to blow eggs (apparently all grandmas can do it). How do people buy insurance so easily? Or do stuff on the stock market? Or clean their windows without making them streakier.

I'm not ready for this shit, even though I'm 22 and technically became an adult in 2005. So I can't claim I'm an adult, because, well, see previous sentence. And that would be cheating and people would expect way more of me than is realistic. So I'm a pre-adult. Or post-child. Post-adolescent? Nah, pre-adult. Pradult. Predult.

So the tax return form. I thought it would be simple because I don't get any money that's worth mentioning apart from student grants from the government. So I assume the nice people at Vero have got it right and I trust them. But then I see this suspicious looking number. It says "returnable". I panic. Returnable to WHOM? Me? You? Finland? Do I have to pay this amount of money to someone and by when?

In horror I flung it across the room and begged my Finnish friends on IRC to help.

They were less than willing to help because apparently I'm just that helpless and every Finn was born with a microchip in their brain to tell them how to interpret tax forms but since I'm foreign I have no such chip and am thus left to decipher the enigma by myself.

Turns out that it had my account number written on it so I guess they're paying it to me. Yay. But I still don't trust it. The tax office is, after all, the only place in Finland where I have to ask them to speak English (which doesn't help). So the form is still on my desk and we stare each other out every now and again.


  1. Well, I have a mother who's an expert on tax forms - I could ask her! :) But, to be honest, I haven't even opened mine yet.

  2. When Anna got her first translation projects and went to a tax office to ask advice, it came to clear to us that the most officers know nothing about taxing of freelancers, self-employed and such. Only when she got scheduled time for special tax officer who has experience with these things, she finally got help. It seems that Finnish system is designed for average person, with average job and salary. Never the less, if a trained tax official can't help you with these things, how could you know any better without experience?

  3. Erno that sounds horrible. One day I will have to do the same thing but at least now I know not to waste my time and demand that someone special sees me because I am special (interpret that as you will) and then everyone will be pleased because I just flailed at a professional instead of trying to handle shit on my own.

  4. we all call our parents when we get that letter.. just did it an hour or so ago (no microchips here :)

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