In reference to my last post there are things I love and hate about my adopted country, Japan.
I filed my taxes today. This should be a stressful, arduous task and I was introduced to it at a tender age when I had to file my tax returns after my first job in high school. It’s a huge business in Canada. I had to pay every year to have s professional fill in my forms. I suppose I could have done it by myself but given my record with numbers I’m glad I didn’t.
The tax office is one place where Canada and Japan differ and this time Japan passes with flying colors while Canada does not get a passing grade.
My boss gave me my “T4” slips. I gathered some deductible receipts and off I went. For the first time in my life I was early. It is still a month to the deadline. The parking lot was almost empty. I walked in and they bowed politely and guided me to go upstairs. Another bow and an apology for keeping me waiting (I must’ve waited at least 30 seconds) and he gave me my number… 10. Oh no, TEN people ahead of me. I sat down and waited and started to fill in my form. Name, address teleph….
“Sorry to keep you waiting. You can go in now”. While I finished filling in the necessary details the kind gentleman filled in the fiddly number bits for me. A few questions more and he added on another deductible (oh kind man may you live long and prosper). “There, you can go over there and the ladies will file it in the computer”. I looked over and 3 or 4 ladies were standing there smiling and waiting. Note that most people are smiling in this anecdote. I don’t remember a lot of polite smiling faces at Revenue Canada during tax season.
She took my forms. I’d be expected to do this myself but one only has to claim computer ignorance or illiteracy (in my case) and they will “do it all for you”. She did, and explained it all.
I was in an out in about 30 minutes! Every year I think the same thing (even last year when I walked in 3 days before the deadline and everyone still smiled and apologized for making me wait)… I love the efficiency and politeness in this country. That is one thing I miss when I go home.