Sunday, December 8, 2013

A taxing history

So..... I always wonder how long I need to hang on to tax documents, receipts etc. I can't imagine that I will ever earn enough to gain the attention of the inland revenue/tax department and for them to audit me. But just in case.... I will hang on to the $2 receipt from buying a pink ribbon as well as my income statement. You just never know.....

It runs in the family, this need for saving documents just in case.
Just look here..... my gggg-grandfather's tax receipt book starting 226 yrs ago:

 And then his son's, my 3g grandfather, Peder Berg's tax receipt book:

My gg grandfather's brother, Edward Laache contributed greatly to the document files,
here is his tax bill:

Along with the tax documentation I also found a treasure trove of receipts that has given me a little insight into his lifestyle like this receipt from a grocer. Edvard must have been stocking up for the Christmas celebrations and it is a rather extensive list of alcohol. I wonder what he would make of my teetotalling ways?

A couple of decades later he appears to have been hospitalised at Oslo's "Rikshospital" for 152 days and had to pay a princely sum for his stay and his bandages:

I bet my ancestors never thought of their paperwork being studied and treasured by their descendants! I am fascinated that these receipts have been passed down through the generations and I feel a little like the curator of my family's history. There must be a way to keep these old documents in order to preserve them still, I have yet to decide how.

 It does make me wonder about what I might leave behind and what my descendants will make of me from what they find. Will they find my receipts from Woolworths or Costco exciting? Will they marvel at our large consumption of Nutella and Jarlsberg cheese?

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