Friday, March 24, 2006


I was hoping to play a bunch of SNGs and small tourneys this week, but it didn't work out that way. Work and taxes have kept me busy.

Taxes turned out to be a lot simpler than I thought they would be. Up until now my company has done the tax return for me, which sounds like it is very common here in Japan. But since I bought an apartment this year, our company accountant said I'd have to do it myself.

Naturally I put it off... and put it off... and put it off. I dread taxes in general, and particular dread trying to work out how to do the taxes in Japanese. And I dreaded having to call my realtor or the tax offices and struggle with my lacking Japanese to try to find out what I needed and how to get it. And I am a procrastinator to begin with, so the chances of my taking the initiative and getting these done were about the same as Ichiro deciding to give up baseball in favor of coaching the Japanese Olympic women's curling team.

My GF reminded me several times over the last few weeks. I kept saying, "yeah, okay, I will do it," and then putting it off again. Finally, the March 15 deadline loomed up and she turned on Nag Mode. I resented it, of course, but it's what I needed. That's me, Mr. Passive-Aggressive.

We were planning to go to the tax office on the 15th (the deadline day!) and work through it with their tax planners, but the web site showed that they were expecting huge crowds that day. (Imagine that!) My GF called them and they actually said it was okay to come in a few days later. Damn nice of them! So we did.

I was near stunned at how easy it was. We went in to the tax office the day afterwards and went to the Tax Guidance area, and were quickly shown to a table with the relevent documents all spread out and an employee quickly sat down with us to work through it. We had brought the tax documents we thought we needed, but quickly found that we needed more documentation about the apartment purchase. The tax official gave us the list of documents we needed, and maps to the office where I could pick them up. He also went through the statement and worked out all the figures for us, pencilling them in. "All right, now, all you have to do is bring back those two forms, turn this in, and you're done."

This is what I had been dreading?

I had to wait a few more days to get another free morning to hit the real estate registration office, also straightforward. Back to the tax office, where another official quickly checked though all the paperwork, confirmed the figures were all correct, told me to write over them in pen, and then sent me on to turn them in. Took all of 20 minutes. According to the official, I should get my refund (deposited directly into my bank account) in less than a month.

Color me impressed, and very sheepish. I could have done this two months ago, easy.

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