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Escaping Taxes: Fact or Fiction?

Escaping taxes is a rather taboo subject, and not one that is openly discussed. Just ask Willie Nelson or Wesley Snipes. Chances are you won't hear people secretly whispering about it while riding on the subway and it certainly won't be preached to you in church. So you're left wondering: "Can you legally escape taxes?" And the answer is, "Not really."

If you were to attempt it, your best bet would be not to work. If you earn less than the minimum ($3,300) you don't have to file. Note that the $3,300 figure is for money earned as an employee and listed on your W2, not self-employment. If you get married and one of you works, then file separately and only that person will have to file. That will avoid the majority of tax (i.e. income tax). You could also move to a state that doesn't have sales tax. And forgo owning a home.

But seriously, taxes pay the salaries of your cities public workers and the folks that bravely defend our nation (i.e. armed forces). Taxes are what we pay to be part of a civilized society. Consider them your dues. Yes, it hurts to give up that hard earned money, but if you have a full-time job you likely have benefits included and those affect your pay even though you don't see them. There are tons of ways to cut down your taxes, but don't drive yourself crazy trying to get out of them all together. Fact is, look at the statistics and you'll see A LARGE percentage of people actually don't pay tax, but get $$ back (through credit features like the EIC), from the Feds. Hence, for many with low incomes it PAYS to file! And even if you avoid income taxes you will still be paying taxes on many purchases as well as other taxes such as real estate, etc.

Tax Protestor Arguments

You may find a number of different suggestions on how you can accomplish paying no tax. Things like "opting out of...", filing 0 based returns, claiming wages aren't income, taxes are voluntary, Federal tax is only applicable to residents of D.C., etc., etc. These are certainly attractive arguments to escape tax liability/responsibility. These are frivolous, protestor-type arguments and have all been found not only baseless, but have been found so in all courts and proceeding for so many reasons, that there are now even special penalties for anyone that tries to, apparently without bothering to investigate the positions, use them.

Below is a link to an agreeably IRS site, that lists many of these arguments and brief reasons why they fail. If you are not comfortable relying on the IRS for advice, do your own research and look at the independent court cases, etc. Maybe even consider that many, many intelligent people, who make substantial incomes, and have devoted their working lives and interest to tax/law and reducing their own or others taxes, wouldn't and don't suggest these arguments. (Generally, someone trying to get $29.95 for their "amazing discovery" that everyone wants to keep secret, or such, is).

Finally... wouldn't you be much happier to go down in history as the US citizen that paid the MOST taxes ever! (Lots of people make nothing of their lives (and in financial value), while taking more of everything than they produce...that seems to be easy).

The whole subject of taxes is a very legitimate discussion because it involves the whole community and most importantly your money! You worked for it!! Therefore you should at least be aware of what you are getting out of what's being spent. And of course, you will find, this is the crux of the issue. Is the money being spent well? Is it all accounted for? Can the tax issue be reformed to better suit the needs of the general public?

So, basically, it's obvious there will much conflict over such an intimate subject. Not only is a percentage of your labor being spent for you, it's being spent in the name of the community or nation as a whole. This may benefit some while not benefiting others. It is a very moral issue. This is why those that favor taxes, especially high taxes, claim it is a citizen's duty to pay taxes. [Remember too that someone who agrees with paying taxes, especially those that want to pay lots of taxes, are generally not going to encourage you to pay less or no taxes. It is against 'their' interest. Just as paying taxes may not be in 'your' interest.]

Most importantly, be involved. If you want taxes have a good strong stance on your position. Set a good example and act on your idea of what needs to happen in society and how to accomplish these goals. It's not just the duty of a citizen to adhere to the laws but to uphold and/or repeal them.

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โˆ™ 2013-03-13 21:21:05
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