Hey, you! The reader who fell asleep upon reading the words ‘tax story’. Look alive, I promise this one’s worth it.
“You have been overpaid,” a letter to Victorian mother-of-two Kerry King from Centrelink reads. “We are, therefore, required to recover this amount.”
Oh kittens. That is not a sentence you want to read from the Scary Tax People.
If this is serious enough to send a tangible, real life letter, it mustn’t be good. People don’t just send letters willy nilly these days. Letters are exclusively reserved for the Big Important Financial Stuff.
“Our records show you have a debt of $0.02 and you have not made an arrangement to repay this debt,” the letter continued.
“We would prefer to settle this matter without taking action.”
Wait... what? Do you mean... like... legal action? Over a debt of TWO CENTS?
Cmon, ATO, I know it's Christmas time and we're all a tad stressed and exhausted. I know you have a job to do and tax debt is no laughing matter. But, seriously?
Luckily, Kerry (who was nominee on behalf of her son) was very obliging, and paid the debt in full like a good, fiscally conservative, tax-paying citizen.
Yes, that right there is a trusty two cent coin taped to the letter. Kerry had finally found a good use for one of her spare 2c pieces - which were withdrawn from circulation waaay back in 1992.
"I was contemplating sending them a five cent piece and asking for the change," Kerry told me.
Merry Christmas indeed.