Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pay more taxes -- please!

Well, today is the day: the deadline to file those IRS returns and mail in those checks to the government.

Of course, most Americans "get money back," which just means that withholding has masked how much is coming out of their paychecks. And it means that the IRS and DOR have tricked them into feeling as though the government is somehow giving them money, when what really happened is that they gave the government a no-interest loan.

As most conservatives point out, if every American had to write checks to the state and the federal government every pay period rather than having it painlessly withheld... well, we would very quickly have something that would make that old California Proposition 13 look like a "let's raise taxes" party.

But the only thing more annoying than paying those exorbitant taxes is listening to voices on the left talk about how much they enjoy and are proud of paying taxes, and how they would gladly pay more.

Well guess what? Anyone who wants to is free to put their money where their mouth is, and actually do it. And you don't have to live in a state with a "tax me more" fund. (Incidentally, neither John Kerry nor Barney Frank took advantage of this program in Massachusetts to pay under the older, higher rate when the income tax rates dropped there. And we won't even talk about way that wealthy liberal families use intricate trusts to avoid the death taxes they advocate retaining and raising.)

In fact, Howie Carr has been waiting for four years to find a Massachusetts politician who actually does voluntarily pay at the higher rate.

But as we were in the process of saying, you don't need to pass any special legislation to be able to pay more taxes and make sure that the government (state or federal) has more of your tax dollars to spend. You don't even need special accounting skills.

Just don't claim any exemptions or deductions. Talk about filing a 1040SuperEZ! No complicated rules, no tax-preparer bills, no need to keep track of charitable contributions or mortgage interest. We're talking Real Simple -- on steroids.

You can buy that "clean and green" hybrid and by not claiming the tax credit, you can feel really, really righteously good about it -- rather than feeling a little tainted by having to share the spotlight with the taxpayers who helped you pay for it.

Another technique is that you could report income you didn't receive. Granted, that might buy you an audit, but it would be an audit that you would pass with flying colors (much to the bewildered confusion of the IRS or DOR auditor.) Again, you'll feel really good, and they'll feel a little guilty since they all take advantage of every loophole they can find on their own returns. You change the world one mind at a time, you know.

Or, if you're married, calculate your taxes both by married and single filling separate methods -- use whichever one costs you more. You shouldn't get audited on that one.

If you think you feel good about paying taxes now, just think how great you'll feel when your tax bill is higher. You might get to experience the happiness of a smaller refund check or even (joy above joys!) -- see what it feels like to write a check on April 15 rather than get one back. Or if you already write a check on April 15th, what it feels like to write an even bigger one.

It's all for a good cause, so let's all go out there and have a good time! Think global, act local...

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