Works in the Herald 1935
LETTERS TO AB: TAXATION ETHICS

Fourway Farm,
August 2, 1935

Dear Ab.-

I am sorry son if your old man has seemed a bit wrongheaded and hard to please in the letters you have been getting lately.

I dunno if you have notised it before, but getting around this time of year I am always inclined to fly off the handle a bit and look at things with the eye of a dispeptick erthwurm.

And the root cause and inner meaning of it, Ab, is incum tax.

When the time comes for hi to state his incum from all sources an cetra an cetra, your poor old father loses his kindly filosofick outlook on this here life and his benine regard for his feller human beings.

It aint so much the waste of money, it aint the questions I got to answer, it aint as if I feels I am dealing as man to man with a feller human who is redy for a bit of give and take and willing to admit he is liable to make mistakes as the next man.

No fear. It is that there high and mighty stand-and-deliver, coff-up-your-wurm attichood took up by these tax coves that gets me fair ropable.

A while back, frinstance, I found I had been forgetting to put in the rental valyer of me ancestral seat so they could hit me to leg for being a bit provident.

So I ups and says so all square and honest.

Then in a nasty snarkey way they wants to know how long this has been going on, making out as if I wanted to cheat em. And then they sends me in bills for four years back tax on me house and demands cash up.

But what about it when they are grabbing off what donít belong to them?

A while back when I found I had been forgetting to take off certain deductions for feeling and clothing your ma and sich like, I write them reel polite saying I had forgot these deductions for several years and would they please send me a cheque for what I overpade.

Did I get a nice curtious note back pronto enclosing cheque and saying how glad they was I found out my error?

I did not.

I got a holler and brutal lauf and words to the effeck I better go and get me head read.

But I put it to you, Ab., in the ethicks of any decent commercial community when a man finds he has been overpaying another man, and points it out, the other feller, being a bloke with somethin resembling a conshunce, coffs up and says ribuck, no harm done.

But does Mister Taxgatherer? No fear. His motter, is, "wot I have I holds." And thatís wot he does.

Now, I put it to you, Ab -

But, come to think of it, there aint much sence putting it to you. You canít do nuthin about it, and I dunno nobody who can.

So there aint reely much to do about it except close this with love from all at home, which is about all I can send you as this leaves me.

Your aff. father,
JAS. JAMES.

"Den"
Herald, 3 August 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005