Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time to gather paperwork, itemize receipts and hold your breath until your accountant gives you the (good or bad) news. Dear readers, it is time to do your taxes.
Some people have really complicated taxes. Others have very simple taxes. But at the end of the day, no one loves doing their taxes. Even if there is a very pretty refund at the end of it, there is also a year’s worth of (dis)organization to muddle through and lots of time to spend with spreadsheets, software and oh so many little pieces of paper.
With tax time upon us, I thought it would be fitting to provide a roundup of what others have written about taxes and finance in the world of fiction and literature. And considering we are all about book and booze pairings on Lit with a Twist, each book is paired with a drink of choice. Cheers…to tax season! Um, yay?
Bitching about one’s taxes is not a new thing. Novelist Georgette Heyer summed it up quite nicely I feel. Now, pour her a whiskey, straight up.
“I’m getting so tired of writing books for the benefit of the Treasury and I can’t tell you how utterly I resent the squandering of my money on such fatuous things as Education and Making Life Easy and Luxurious for So-Called Workers.”
Speaking of quotes, this rebellious quote is from the award-winning science fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein:
“You have put your finger on the dilemma of all government – and the reason I am an anarchist. The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it destroys … It may not be possible to do away with government – sometimes I think that government is an inescapable disease of human beings. But it may be possible to keep it small and starved and inoffensive – and can you think of a better way than by requiring the governors themselves to pay the costs of their antisocial hobby?”
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is about a lunar colony’s revolt against rule from Earth. The novel is all about libertarian ideals, and begs the companionship of alcohol-infused Dippin’ Dots. Please consume responsibly.
Did you know that there’s an entire novel based on taxes (well, sort of)? The Tax Inspector, by Peter Carey, is about the Catchprice family and their nemesis is a beautiful and very pregnant agent of the Australian Taxation Office named Maria Takis. This is one heavy novel, and one requiring a beverage (or few) while reading because it is also packed with frustration and emotion. Sort of similar to tax time, eh? This is not a novel to read before bed time, but rather in the afternoon and early evening with a six pack of dark cold beer. Sip, think of the Australian outback, and when you’re finished you may even want to do your taxes.
What better way to end a tax write-up than with a fact from Shakespeare? Fun fact: On November 15, 1597, the Tax Collector of St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate, London, reported non-payment of tax by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was assessed for 5 shillings toward property worth £5 in St Helen’s parish the previous year. Master Shakespeare, to the Quickbooks with you! (And on your way, grab a beaker of ale. It’ll ease the computer headache.) Side note: Did you know that Shakespeare’s own father was an official ale taster in Stratford? I’m sure Shakespeare bragged about that one at parties.