Friday, April 6, 2012

Obvious Tax

It's tax time! Having just finished my taxes, I've got taxes on the mind. I'll just print out my forms and mail them off tomorrow - I won't even need the automatic foreign resident 2 month extension this year! Sometimes I feel silly filling taxes here. While I'm filling out the forms I feel like I'm doing a fake out with the IRS - here's how much money I made on line 347 OOPS! I made it all outside of the US on line 758. Gotcha! It seems like a lot of form filling, adding lines 5-61 and multiplying by .4749283 to write the number "0" at the bottom, but it is pretty amazing, when you think about it, that they made a handful of two page forms to accomodate the various life situations of over 300 million people. It's also amazing, that with five thousand here and three thousand there, they collect enough to run a country (I know, there's a huge deficit, but it's still amazing). I wouldn't be saying it's amazing if my number wasn't zero, but when you think about it, it is big job.

Then I was thinking, what if I and others around me could collect a little here and there as a tax. I like saying "If I had a nickel for every time...", but since nickels are out of style, I'll up it to a quarter. The first tax I would collect is the Obvious Tax. When people tell me something obvious about myself, I will collect a quarter. If they are married, have children, or were born after 2002, they get a deduction, 5 cents for each that applies. Examples of "Obvious" qualifying statements include, but are not limited to - "You are tall." and "You look tired, (teacher)." These two will be enough, actually. I could finance my own Department of Transportation with that tax.

The second tax I would collect is the Spam Tax. This would be harder to enforce, but if I only enforce it with spam text messages, I should be able to collect enough from my bank and telephone company alone to finance my Ministry of the Interior Design. Who ever heard of a bank spamming its customers? Do banks in the US do this?

PS - As a disclaimer, just because I don't pay taxes in the US doesn't mean I don't pay taxes. I'm actually really thankful that the US doesn't double-tax citizens who live in foreign countries. That was a great, merciful idea, whoever thought of it.