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Monique’s June Challenge: The Absentee Tax Filee

It starts off so innocently:

“I’m busy this week.”

“Ugh, I’m missing that important piece of paper.”

“This *inevitably unimportant thing* is much more important to do today.”

“Why is this not where it should be?”

“…Wait, WHAT day is it??”

And that’s why I ended up doing my taxes.

In June.

Overseas. (Again)

This time, from Kenya.

In all fairness, my freelance filing is not due until June each year but that doesn’t exempt me from filing taxes for my traditional income on time.

I’ve spent much of this year (and all of the 2016 fiscal year so far) outside of Canada, and much of my attention has been focused on very few things remotely Canadian, save for my family and Canadian clients.

My challenge for the month of June was to complete my Canadian taxes. While the outcome is still in limbo (minor errors from both my financial advisor and on my end – no huge deal, almost fixed), it’s still basically done.

I emailed the person who handled my taxes last year from Kenya and within a week we had everything just about completed.

One of the benefits of being a freelancer is that you can work from just about anywhere (work visa, permitting) but it’s also super important to keep your home-country deadlines top of mind.

If you’re planning on working overseas this year, make a note of what you’ll have to file, by when, and in what currency. Do it early and keep on top of it. There’s no glamour in working internationally and then missing a deadline that will keep your records current and your home government happy.

If you’re like me, just know that with every year, every project, and every deadline, you’ll get better. You’ll improve to the point where things that required so much analysis and strategizing becomes second nature.

For me, this was a hiccup. A chance to say, “Whoops!”

Now that I’m back in the UK and have had a chance to reflect on my setbacks, I know that by tax time next year, this will only be a faint memory but one that has had a major impact on how I approach the month of April from this point forward.

– Monique

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