Where’s the Pride in that IRS Check You Wrote?

The definition of pride is a sense of feeling of pleasure and satisfaction from your own achievements or those accomplished from around you.  Parents often feel that with their children, employers feel that with their employees, pet owners feel it with their furry household members.  Everyone has felt it at once in their life, and hopefully every possible moment that it is humanly possible.  Obviously, it’s always a challenge and approval seem to be what everyone seeks, but why is it that no one sees pride when it comes to the IRS?

The latest IRS cumulative statistics comparing the 4/13/18 to the 4/12/19 tax filing season is down by $7.617 billion, which is substantial, equating to a drop of 3.1%, but is not hugely significant that people may think.  However, I’ve heard it from numerous clients and non-clients how they don’t feel that they got a fair shake, what could they have done differently, or this is monies they were counting on to take care of other things because this was their one big bonus of the year they expect to get.

First and foremost, people should not only realize that the IRS doesn’t make the laws but simply enforce them.  They are open for interpretation at times, which is why people feel that it’s not fair in which people who have more wealth are able to follow through on better tax shelters, better ways of hiding it, and better challenges to the system that seems like it’s always changing.  Secondly, being created back in 1862 in response to raising funds for the American Civil War, over the decades it’s brought most of the revenue needed to fund the U.S. Federal Government which is what helps keep our way of life much better than what we often take for granted.

The one statement I’ve heard more times than I can count is “I want to pay my fair share” but when I ask what this means, they have no answer for it.  Does it mean I’m asked not to have them pay next to nothing, or if they have a huge debt they’re going to blame me for it (even though they only want to see me once a year after-the-fact when there’s nothing that can be done), or they are just trying to make themselves feel better.  I also remind them that I have my “fair share” I pay every year because I want them to understand they’re not alone, like most other tax payers.

No not everyone pays the same amount, which is never going to make it fair, and yes there are a groups of people who cheat, find work-arounds from people they hire to find the loopholes to minimizing the liability, or people who just ignore the option of filing their taxes altogether.  Yes, there are many people who do that as well and I’ve met a lot of them too.  You may ask how they can do that, and it’s their choice – however not getting a business loan, not being able to buy a house, being found out and having to make huge amounts of restitution including interest and penalties, are just a few of the consequences people face but it’s their choice to take the risk and hope they don’t get found out.

Personally I take pride in that I do the best I can for the people’s businesses I work with because they understand, like I do, this is something we need to do in order to live a good life that the IRS has helped provide for us.  Just imagine if they weren’t around, how would we have any type of infrastructure of government.  There’s always room for improvement, it’ll never be fair, and no one can ever get something for nothing legitimately.  However, it doesn’t matter what you did during the day but what you did at the end of it, and hopefully with pride.

Dwayne J. Briscoe