Ben Franklin once famously opined that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Sometimes, it seems like people have an easier time coming to terms with the former than the latter. If there was ever a common ground amongst all groups of people, it is that everybody hates the necessary evil that is taxes, although some people would place more emphasis on “necessary,” while others would place it on “evil.” Regardless, part of reaching maturity, as an adult, as well as a responsible contributing member of society, is coming to terms with paying your taxes. Here’s some thoughts on how to do just that…
Know what your taxes are paying for
If you want to better reconcile the money you are spending taxes on, the first thing that you need to do is get educated about what exactly your tax money is going towards. Being knowledgeable about government spending is another basic responsibility of citizenship, as it is a crucial aspect of keeping the government accountable to the people. Keep up to date with budgets in your local government, as well as the Federal government, in order to have a better idea of what exactly it is that you are paying for. Sadly, we can’t exactly promise that is going to make you feel better about the taxes you are paying, as it is almost a guarantee that there will be things you are paying for that you feel lukewarm about, if not outright oppose. However, that is one of the ironies in a democracy that is hard to swallow, albeit it being necessary to do so.
Get your other spending in order
It’s a lot easier to pay taxes when the rest of your financial ducks are in order. The time when taxes are the worst is when your finances are already in a messy situation, because taxes typically will only complicate difficult financial situations. Mainly, keeping up on your debt will help you structure your finances in a way that will be beneficial for your taxes. In fact, paying off certain types of debt can actually help you get the most back from your taxes. An example of this would be student debt, which is one of the primary forms of debt that are tax deductible (check out this helpful article for some tips to pay off student debt).
Understand the penalties of not paying taxes
There are a wide variety of different penalties that can fall on your head if you decide that you don’t need to pay your taxes. Most of these penalties are strictly financial, such as a penalty fee, which adds to the overall percentage you are expected to pay. On top of that, interest will grow on your current owed taxes. The IRS also has the ability to notify your employer and commandeer your paychecks in the purpose of paying taxes. Eventually, though, failing to pay taxes could end with prison time, depending on the amount of money owed and the time period the evasion was carried out over.
Speak with the IRS
It would be safe to say that the IRS isn’t America’s most popular government agency. After all, a group that is designated special powers to collect your money isn’t an entity that people want to deal with on a daily basis. However, the negative associations with the IRS are largely unwarranted. For the most part, it is largely just made up of people who are trying to do their job. If you are having trouble paying any amount of taxes, simply speaking with the IRS will go a long way towards finding a solution that helps both you and them in the long run, as they are often very lenient with payment plans.
Not everyone pays certain taxes
If you make less than $9,350 working for somebody else in a single year, then you are a part of a certain group of individuals who does not have to pay income taxes. There are two main purposes for this: the first being that it gives some financial relief to those who have an exceptionally low income, and the second being that it would be financially far too expensive to try to collect on these taxes to make it worth it. If you want to learn a bit more about who doesn’t have to pay income taxes, take a look at this article here.