The Tax-Man Cometh
With April 15 falling on Easter weekend this year, tax day in the United States was moved to April 18. Although Americans got a few days reprieve, the tax-man inevitably made his annual appearance, and we are all poorer for it.
Even my non-political friends were posting “taxation is theft” memes on social media yesterday. This indicates just how deeply most Americans loath the IRS. Why shouldn’t they? In an article posted on the Mises Wire, Judge Andrew Napolitano give a succinct summary of just how deeply the tax-man bites:
“With a tax code that exceeds 72,000 pages in length and consumes more than six billion person hours per year to determine taxpayers’ taxable income, with an IRS that has become a feared law unto itself, and with a government that continues to extract more wealth from every taxpaying American every year, is it any wonder that April 15th is a day of dread in America? Social Security taxes and income taxes have dogged us all since their institution during the last century, and few politicians have been willing to address these ploys for what they are: theft.”
To add insult to injury, Americans had to dig a little deeper into their own pockets to facilitate IRS takings this year. As Bloomberg reported, tax preparation cost hit an all-time high in March. The Labor Department’s consumer-price index for tax return preparation rose 2.4%. It ranked as the third-biggest monthly gain ever, according to Bloomberg: “Such trends show why firms like Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block Inc., have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to limit efforts to simplify the tax-filing process.”
As much as we hate taxes, many people still bristle at the assertion that “taxation is theft.” But when you break it all down, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Taxes may be the price we pay to live in society. You might call them necessary. But there is no denying governments force the payment of taxes with threats and coercion. We have little choice in the matter unless we’re willing to face the consequences. This is pretty much the definition of theft. Or if you prefer a different word – extortion.
Whether we want the services the government provides or not, we must ante up. And most of us would happily do without many, if not most, of the “services” provided by the government. Not only does taxation drain our personal wealth, it steals the wealth of nations, as Napolitano points out:
“There are only three ways to acquire wealth in a free society. The inheritance model occurs when someone gives you wealth. The economic model occurs when you trade a skill, a talent, an asset, knowledge, sweat, energy or creativity to a willing buyer. And the mafia model occurs when a guy with a gun says: ‘Give me your money or else.'”
That leads to two important questions: “Which model does the government use?” and “Why do we put up with it?”
The bottom line is we put up with it because we fear the consequences. We know the tax-man cometh, and he carries a big stick. Nobody likes getting hit. While we may not be able to avoid it, there are ways we can soften the blow. One way is to buy gold and silver.
You may have heard that you can’t purchase more than $10,000 worth of gold without it being reported to the IRS. This is a myth.
You can avoid IRS reporting requirements, even on large-scale purchases. You just have to know the rules. Our Guide to Tax-Free Gold and Silver Buying provides the information you need to navigate the complex world of IRS reporting. Our goal is to make it easy to understand exactly what the IRS requires so you can buy and sell with privacy and confidence.