Hands up if you love paying taxes. 🙋♂️
Believe me, I feel the same way.
As yet another tax season floats our way, I am reminded of the all-too-familiar discussions I’ve had where people proudly share their justification for cheating on taxes.
“I didn’t vote for this party,” some say.
“The politicians don’t even pay tax themselves,” others cry.
“Taxes are too high,” sings the choir.
Now, what you choose to do with your money is your business, but I must admit I am intrigued by the way we humans attempt to justify our deceitful behavior.
In the name of education, I’d like to briefly cover the origins of taxation in Canada (home sweet home 🇨🇦) and then share my journey toward finding peace in paying taxes honestly.
A Teeny Tiny History Lesson
Taxation in Canada was largely implemented in 3 stages during World War I.
In 1914, the government started taxing goods and services. This began with nonessential items such as alcohol and tobacco, expanded to common items such as transport tickets and telegrams, and finally covered staple goods such as food, tea, and coffee.
Still unsatisfied, the government then tapped businesses for taxes by passing the the Business Profits War Tax Act of 1916.
Finally, as a cherry on top, the government forced us commonfolk to start paying tax by passing the Income War Tax Act of 1917.
These were all branded as “temporary wartime measures” because, hey, tanks aren’t free. 💥
As we know, the government conveniently never got around to revoking these laws. Which makes sense, because once you start working, one thing you quickly learn about governments is that they are money-hungry machines.
Being An Honest Taxpayer
Personally, I’m conflicted when it comes to taxation because I don’t trust the government and I don’t think tax dollars are used to serve the people. I imagine running the country probably gets in the way of a politician’s top priority: campaigning for re-election.
After complaining about this for a few years (call me stubborn), I eventually found peace in being an honest taxpayer. That peace came directly from a response Jesus offered: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:15–22) He made this statement in response to some religious elitists of the day who, knowing the people loathed paying taxes, asked Him if it was right to pay taxes to Caesar.
Before, my only motivation for paying taxes was fear of audits and prosecution. I don’t know about you, but when I’m motivated by fear, the results are usually stressful and unfulfilling.
In the end, I don’t want to be a slave to money, driven to lie and cheat in its name. And let us not forget that the government literally prints this stuff at will… to the tune of $560 million per day (in the US).
*scampers off to fill out tax forms*
Edit on Feb 6, 2018: It’s been brought to my attention that this post makes it seem as if I am against taxation. To clarify, I support and benefit from the public infrastructure and services our taxes pay for. The reason I am conflicted is because, personally, I think there is room for improvement regarding the responsible use of tax resources. My apologies for the misunderstanding.