On the Hazards of Taxes (Part 1)


This is why I lead an interesting life. A startling lack of common sense makes the simplest things a grand adventure.

~~~~~

TODAY’S GRAND ADVENTURE: PERIPATEIA VS. THE BIR

(FILING Taxes) Not the most accurate image, but it'll do. (Image sourced from Google.)

ROUND 1: THE BATTLE TO LOCATE THE BIR

Peripateia drives to the Bureau of Internal Revenue National Office Building on BIR Road to undertake the civic duty of filing her tax returns, and upon entering the grounds, wonders why there’s a distinct lack of traffic given the proximity of the filing deadline…

Peripateia (inquiring with the stern-looking security guard at the front desk at the main entrance): Excuse me, Ma’am, at which floor or department do I file my returns?

Guard (glaring): You don’t file your returns here. You file them at your respective Revenue District Office.

Peripateia (deflating): Oh… Where is my Revenue District Office?

Guard (still glaring): In which barangay do you live?

Peripateia (uncertain): Ugong Norte?

Guard (dismissive): Then you should go to the Pasig Revenue District Office.

Peripateia (confused): Er, I live in Quezon City.

Guard (snorting): Really? But Ugong Norte’s part of Pasig.

Peripeteia (even more confused): Er, not my Ugong Norte.

Guard (dismissive again): Then you should go to the Quezon City Revenue District Office on Quezon Avenue.

Peripateia (deflated): Right. (Mutters to herself.) Where in Quezon Avenue…?

ROUND 1 SCORE: BIR-1; PERIPATEIA-0

ROUND 2: THE BATTLE TO LOCATE PARKING NEAR THE QUEZON CITY RDO

After a call to Abbey to obtain the location of the Quezon City Revenue District Office, Peripateia finds herself along Scout Santiago Street looking for parking…

Peripateia (daunted by the wall of cars along the curb): Boss, is there any parking space left?

Quasi Parking Attendant (apologetic): No, Ma’am.

Peripateia (daunted but persistent): Is there anywhere at all that I can park?

Quasi Parking Attendant (helpful): You can turn left up ahead, Ma’am, and try to find a spot along the street there.

Peripateia drives a hundred yards, finds a suitable spot along the curb big enough for a bike, parks with a flourish and emerges from her car…

Guard (droll): You can’t park there, Ma’am.

Peripateia (suspicious): Why?

Guard (smug): Because you’ve blocked the driveway.

Peripateia (more smug): There’s a carpet of thick grass across that driveway, indicating that it’s never used.

Guard (even more smug): No, Ma’am. They really do use this driveway. For deliveries.

Peripateia (annoyed at guard’s dismissal of deductive logic but impatient): Fine.

Peripateia gets back into her car, drives in the opposite direction and is promptly waved down by another quasi parking attendant…

Quasi Parking Attendant (obsequious): You can park here, Ma’am.

Peripateia (taken aback): But that slot’s in front of a driveway!

Quasi Parking Attendant (even more obsequious): This driveway is never used, Ma’am.

Peripateia (exasperated): I will never understand parking in this country.

ROUND 2 SCORE: BIR-2; PERIPATEIA-0

ROUND 3: THE BATTLE TO LOCATE THE RIGHT RDO TABLE

Peripateia enters the premises of the Quezon City Revenue District Office and is confronted by two lines of tables representing several tax districts…

Peripateia (inquiring with the security guard at the entrance to the foyer): Excuse me, Sir, at which table do I file my returns?

Guard (laconic): In which barangay do you live?

Peripateia (with a hint of foreboding): Ugong Norte?

Guard (dismissive): Then you should go to the Pasig Revenue District Office.

Peripateia (resigned): I live in Quezon City.

Guard (skeptical): Really? But Ugong Norte’s part of Pasig.

Peripeteia (even more resigned): Not my Ugong Norte.

Guard (dismissive): Well, look at the list of barangays listed on the tarp over there then and find which table you should go to.

Peripateia looks at the tarp, scans it, finds Ugong Norte listed under Revenue District Office 40, and does a little jig of victory.

ROUND 3 SCORE: BIR-2; PERIPATEIA-1

Stay tuned for Rounds 4 to 9 (possibly 10 or 12; I lost count).

P.S. A happy happy birthday to my mother who turns _1 today! (And who might not want to be recognized as my mother after this post.) Oh well. Love you, Mum!

P.P.S. All conversations above have been translated into English, because Peripateia’s Filipino is even more suspect than her tax return filing skills and may even have been responsible for most of the mishaps related in the foregoing.

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