For my readers that may live in The Near Abroad, we here in Baja Canada find ourselves in the midst of tax preparation season.
I say "season" because - based on how many incoming documents you may have - it really is a period of time rather than short event. The opening of the season - not celebrated nearly as much as that of something like Deer or Abalone season - starts on 01 January at the close the old year and will come to an end on or about 15 April, when the grinding of teeth will stop, when mental preparation for next year's tax season will begin. Suddenly, the race is on to gather all the documentation required to file one's taxes.
If one has an employer, the appropriate form (W-2) must be issued by 31 January. Other forms or information (some institutions no longer offer the forms themselves if you fall below a certain amount) can be ferreted out on the monthly statements or find themselves issued in a timely manner.
And then, there are the remaining forms. Or as I have come to call them, "The Usual Suspects".
There are unifying factors around The Usual Suspects. They are all companies that are virtually based - there is not a brick and mortar location that you can go in. They all deal with electronic sorts of money in one form or fashion.
And they are all terribly bad about providing their required forms.
Two companies - one for the small personal investment account I hold, one for the very small amount of remaining Crypto I hold - managed to make their forms available around the middle of the month. The other - the repository for the Brave Attention Token, or BAT - just managed to create theirs this past Tuesday for me (14 March for those counting along on their calendars).
This strikes me as a bit ridiculous. Everything is electronic now. It literally just running the algorithm and generating the forms or spreadsheets - I do this at work on a daily basis. It seems like it should be the sort of thing that could completed on January 2nd. And yet, 2.5 months later, the last piece of paperwork comes crawling in.
I have noted before that the BAT - given for looking at advertisements in the Brave browser - has actually worked out for me in that it allowed me to purchase Amazon gift cards which I then turned into books as quickly as possible. But the value of the BAT has fallen in recent months; last year when I wrote the article it was worth approximately $1 (more or less); it now sits squarely at $0.23. So now it a) takes longer to get to that treasured $25 gift card level and b) makes it a lot less worth my while to deal with the inconvenience of a delayed tax filing to get that last piece of paperwork.
To be fair, now that I have the documentation and reverse engineered the calculation, I can get to the same number (on January 2nd, as it turns out) so next year in theory that should not be an impediment - at the same time, I am someone who wants all my documentation in place before I submit something (having to revise a submitted tax return, at least in the US, is a great way to get moved to the back of the line). So I will either have to stop collecting back, live with what will be potentially a minor non-impacting calculation and file, or continue to wait.
Supposedly one of the big benefits of the InterWeb revolution was that information was going to be available quickly and seamlessly, especially for the those companies that saw the InterWeb and technology as "the next big leap in human (de)evolution". It might be worth it to those companies to consider that it is not just delivery of one part of the service but every part of the service that makes something revolutionary. Otherwise, it just becomes another annoying thing to deal with and give consideration to why one is doing it in the first place - after all, people adopt what works for them, not what they struggle with.