Webconverger Limited (incorporated 11th September 2007 in England) is filing (or 'returning') its taxes for the first time (not to be confused with an Annual Return)! The dreaded corporation tax deadline is January 2009 and evidently you must pay before you submit the report in April. Confused? Join me!

Armed with my compromised UK Government Gateway account details, I think I can pay Corporation Tax via a Web application. There seem to be quite a few third party tools to file taxes, though a quick peek doesn't excite me.

The strategy for Webconverger I will adopt is this:

  1. Collect all bank statements and Google checkout orders
  2. Give them to accountant (print and email)
  3. Talk to accountant about how to pay the least tax possible
  4. File taxes online using my Government Gateway account (not going to fiddle with agent access)

Since I've never filed taxes before, I'm prepared to pay an accountant for advice as I would hate to be penalised for some novice mistake.

Stumble to step one. There seems to be no sane way to print statements from the Barclays business account. I do not keep any statements as I shred them once I receive them. I've begged Barclays to stop killing trees and threatening my security by sending me statements, but they will not listen to me. Their business adviser doesn't return my calls. Oh, I loathe Barclays.

Right, I'll export the data as CSV which alarming Barclays thinks is Excel data. Rename data.csv as 2008.csv. Data portabilty is not hard! Oh wait, the Barclays CSV seems close to unreadable. Oh dear.

 ,15/10/2008,20-97-58 XXXXXXX,98.62,DIRECTDEP,GOOGLE CHECKOUT       WEBCONVERG         BGC

Next, Google checkout. Ok, I have complained to Google about frustrations exporting checkout data and hopefully it's now easy. Hmm, no, it still seems I can only export my data a month at a time! :(

Oh man, cloud computing sucks so bad. Ok, lets write a shell script:

. ./secret.sh
for YEAR in 2007 2008
for MONTH in $(seq 1 12)
LASTDAY=$(echo $(cal $MONTH $YEAR) | awk '{print $NF}')
XML=$(cat << END
<order-list-request xmlns="http://checkout.google.com/schema/2" start-date="$YEAR-$MONTH-01T00:00:00" end-date="$YEAR-$MONTH-${LASTDAY}T23:59:59"></order-list-request>
test $DEBUG && echo $XML
curl --data "$XML" https://$ID:$KEY@checkout.google.com/api/checkout/v2/reports/Merchant/$ID

Phew, lucky I'm a computer science Masters graduate who knows how to workaround HORRIFIC XML APIS. Still I am missing all customer data from:

Google Order Number,Merchant Order Number,Order Creation Date,Currency of Transaction,Order Amount,Amount Charged,Financial Status,Fulfillment Status


Ok, next. How do I print CSV to study with my Pakistani accountant? This is what I bought a printer for! I can't just send the CSV text file to my accountant as an email attachment. That would be too easy. :)