When I was a child, my father used to say, "Haikar Habriut… Vemas Hachnasa," which literally means "The important thing is health… and the IRS." Basically, it means the two things you need to fear are problems with your health, and with the IRS. And… well… those oft repeated lines left me with a bit of a phobia of the internal revenue service.
When I grew up, and became a freelancer, all of my early dealings with the IRS were filled with dread. It caused me to be late in payments (self fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one), and to generally not be very good in my dealings with them. But as one grows a bit older, one learns to just DEAL. Which I did.
Recently, I started writing for Maariv (well, "started writing" is a big statement, considering I wrote all of one film review, but still, they seem to want more reviews, so that's a good). This week, they sent me my freelancer contract, which included a request for my deduction of tax at source certificate. Without it, they would have to deduct 49 percent, which would suck. The certificate I had was valid until last week. But I thought, "hey, I have the internet, the IRS has a website, maybe I can find something there." And I logged on and had a look. What I found was this page, where employers/clients can get the deduction certificate of their employees/contracters. I entered my ID number, and lo and behold, I found that the IRS renewed my certificate, which includes a full deduction exemption, until 2007. That's awesome. So I informed the nice woman at Maariv where she can get my certificate, and didn't have to go to the IRS offices. Thus, my phobia was again proven to be unfounded, while at the same time I didn't have to face my silly fears and go to their offices (which, btw, are ridiculously close to out apartment).
ps. Yes, I'm trying out actually "blogging" on my blog, rather than linking or reviewing or informing or essaying or whatnot. Hope someone out there likes it. If you do, and if you don't, please say so in the comments. Comments are important, folks. Hits in the counter are nice, but comments are so much nicer.