Thursday, 27 January 2011

Taxman blues

Hitting the bottle and enjoying some Jack Daniels and coke. And with good cause. I have found that when I ask my students the question "Is a surprise a good thing or a bad thing?" they always say, "It's a bad thing." Yesterday they were right.

I received an email from work basically telling me that there is a shortfall in the amount of tax I've paid over the past twelve months - a period in which my wage has not increased at all. Fair enough, we all have to pay tax and I have no objection to this because Korean taxes have been very low during my time here compared to taxes back in Britain.

And then I read how much I have to pay. I won't post the exact amount but it's considerably higher than I would have imagined. My taekwondo partner Diana received a similar email but with a much lower amount to pay back - you double hers and then put a zero on it and you have mine. I was shocked and still am but, of course I have to pay this. And again, if that's what I have to do then I will but in the email I got from my employers it stated, "You must give the (figure I owe) to your branch manager before next monday (January 31th). If you don't mind, please give this ASAP"

The issue is not that I have to pay this but why has the amount not already been taken out of my salary in 2010? I am not an accountant. This is not my field of expertise. It is complicated even though it has been explained to me. But, why have I been given only five days to pay this? Why do I have to pay this in cash? Part of me wants to roll up to my branch with a wheelbarrow full of coins and say "There you go." But I won't. Right now I have very little in the bank due to sending money home recently. Luckily pay day is tomorrow. I have enough to cover this but I will be left short in February.

Since yesterdays email I have been in contact with one of my managers. She replied to my concerns and although she stressed I have to pay this, she is trying to get it either delayed or at least broken down into instalments. If this can happen I will be a much happier teacher than I am right now.

I am trying not to be in a bad mood at home and at work. It's not going to break me but the timing is appalling. Today I was not as I should be in the classroom. I was a little irritable and showed signs of it getting to me. This is unfair on the students. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow. It's not the worst news I've ever had so I am very philosophical. It is only money. These things are sent to try us. Back to my whiskey and coke.


QiRanger said...

Hrm... I wonder what will happen when I get my tax report back.

Do you think this could be part of that "retroactive" tax we all got hit with that now includes airfare and housing as part of our taxable income?

Talking to myself said...

One of the reasons why I am paying more is that "I am in a higher tax bracket". Because I've been with my company for over three years my salary has risen accordingly but still, it was a most unpleasant shock.

I wouldn't worry about something you have no control over. Of the eight foreign teachers at my academy only three have to pay back tax. Let's be honest though, tax is still low here

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