Alison in Wonderland, Observant, Maastricht
Never have I called the Dutch tax office – or any tax office, for that matter – and felt that I’d won. Until today, that is. Despite having left the country three years ago, I was still being taxed by the Belastingdienst. I’d been dreading making the call, though, because as everybody knows, the tax office always wins. But it seems they have a new policy in place, one that draws heavily on psychotherapy for its stock phrases: ‘I’m hearing you say you don’t know why you are being taxed here, and that is making you feel angry and powerless.’ The matter was cleared up in minutes (33, to be precise, and at the international calling rate, but still). It seems that now I’ve left the country, I get along much better with it.