April 15th was two weeks ago and most of us have filed our taxes by now. Most of us also know the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We know the phrase but have any of us stopped to think about why we pay taxes?
We pay taxes for one main reason and that is to keep our government running. Our taxes pay for our military, our roads and our public schools. Our taxes pay the salaries of the men and women in Washington D.C. who make our laws. Our taxes pay the President’s salary, which is why it is so important to vote. You’re paying their wages, you may as well decide who it is you want to pay.
Without collecting taxes our country would not be able to function. Taxes are a necessary evil. No one likes to pay them, but we all must to insure we have good schools, good roads, a strong military, and even that the fire department will show up when our house is on fire. Our income taxes pay for so many other services we take for granted.
Most people do pay their taxes even if they don’t enjoy doing so. However, there are a few who refuse to pay taxes, or think they can get away with not paying them. They don’t usually get away with it for very long, however. In today’s technologically advanced society, avoiding paying one’s taxes is becoming increasingly difficult. If you have a social security number, the government can check up on you to see if you have paid your taxes, and if you paid enough.
If you don’t pay your taxes, or you underpay, the government will make life extremely difficult for you. They can audit you, they can penalize you, they can add fees to the money you owe for taxes. This can make matters even more painful, because their fees and penalties make your final bill a lot larger than it could have been.
So, if you haven’t done your taxes by now, it’s a good time to get started. If you don’t know where to begin, we recommend taking all your pay stubs, bank statements and other financial information to a reputable accountant.