Fiona Duff: Not ready to get my taxes organised

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Those of you who are self- employed will know what I am talking about. The Inland Revenue will soon be baying for my blood, or at least my accounts.

If they don’t have them by end of play today my next column might be sent whilst I am a guest of Her Majesty.

They don’t take any notice of excuses, you know. The fact that I had managed to lose half my bank statements and haven’t a clue what some of the payments made from my bank account were for (I mean it was over a year ago, what on earth did I buy from Currys?) is of no interest to them. Of course, most sensible people would have put everything in order on April 6 last year, but I have never claimed to err on the side of sense.

So I am sitting amidst a pile of receipts, statements and torn up bits of paper where I wrote notes to myself. Most of them have huge capital letters saying “DO BOOKS!”.

My accountant, whose office is very handily over the road, is tearing his hair out, and when I point out that for a man of his age he is lucky to have any he doesn’t even crack a smile.

To be honest, I doubt I am his only client who can’t get themselves together before mid-January so his office is probably an even bigger mess than my sitting room.

In an ideal world I would earn a lot more money and then I could employ someone to come in and sort all this out for me, but the sad fact is that I can hardly afford to buy a book in which to write out all my expenses.

As soon as the trauma of all this is over I am going to go out and buy a filing cabinet; I’ll put everything in nice files and just after Easter I’ll get my head down and account ledgers out. After I’ve finished eating all the chocolate eggs.