RITE OF PASSAGE: Tax Time
I have begun the process of preparing my tax return. I know the Scriptures say “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Luke 20:25). Since Caesar died on March 15, 44 B.C., why do I need to keep on paying him? I understand giving to God-He is still alive. It seems that after one Caesar dies, another always takes his place. I guess that means there will always be a Caesar around to collect our money.
Since my children are grown, I can no longer claim them as a tax deduction. I wonder: is there any place you can go and rent a child? After you received your tax refund, you could simply return your rental. Oh, that’s right! I don’t get a tax refund; therefore, I wouldn’t be able to return the child.
In earlier years, I have considered sending a letter like the following:
Dear Mr. IRS,
I am writing to question the amount of deductions you allow me for my two sons. I don’t know if you have children or not, but the upkeep and maintenance is much more than you have allotted. If it would help, I can send you an itemized expense sheet on each boy. I have included the cost to replace the window they broke out while hosting the Neighborhood World Baseball tournament in our front yard. Our living room window was the official backstop. Also included is the price of repainting our living room. It seems our youngest son thought those white walls existed for the sole purpose of expressing his individuality.
Mr. IRS, if you do have children, I pray that they don’t ever get “Hooked on Phonics.” Do you know how expensive it is to teach a child to read these days? Then, you must add in school activities, sports programs, church camps, trips to Six Flags (after seeing the admission prices, I refer to it as “Sick” Flags.) Then, throw in the doctor and dental visits, along with all that candy we had to buy (our boys were supposed to sell it to help pay for the new school playground). Of course, you must include computers. These days, you can’t even attend kindergarten without having the most updated computer, internet connection and software.
Putting all this together, you get a total equivalent to the budget of a small third-world country. So, would you mind reconsidering? Please give me a $10,000 deduction for each child. Even then, it will take a whole lot of praying to make it through the year.
If you can’t do that . . . don’t be surprised when you hear your doorbell ring and see two boys standing on your front porch. Please take good care of them. They are a lot more expensive than you thought.
It is hard to believe America was founded to avoid unfair taxation. Still, I am glad that God has given me the ability to work and earn enough that I have to pay taxes. Our country is far from perfect, but I have lived in countries where the majority of people’s salaries went to the government. They had no money left to cover basic living expenses.
Paying taxes should be considered an honor, and we need to give our country what it asks of us. We also need to give God what He asks of us. Teach your children that they have a responsibility to the country that protects them . . . and to the God who has given them life.