If you’ve never run a business of your own, you might be unaware that September 15 is the deadline for making “Estimated Tax Payments” for the 3rd quarter. Based on prior year earnings, you estimate what you think you’ll owe for the quarter and write out checks – one to the IRS and one to your State’s Department of Revenue.
Having to do this versus having taxes sucked out of your check on a two-week or so basis, is, enlightening – for lack of a better word. While I was performing this task this morning I had to stop and think about what I will see from this tax payment versus what I could do with it if I didn’t have to send it away to the black hole of the US Government.
#1. I could pay off the remaining loan on my car. This would immediately put my $497 per month car payment back in my pocket – next month.
#2. I could put a new roof on my house. This is not an emergency issue, but every time I seem to get enough put by to get this job done – it’s time for another quarterly tax payment instead.
#3. I could sock this money away in my SEP – the self-employed person’s version of an IRA. This would be non-taxable $$ I could count on in my old age – which will be here any minute.
#4. I could make a large pre-payment on principal against my mortgage loan. If I just took the check I wrote the Fed/IRS and applied it all to my mortgage principal it would be the equivalent of making 36 extra principal payments – more or less – since the principal amount changes with each payment.
This is heady stuff! Not only could I be making huge payments against my debt load, but I would be contributing to society by NOT taking anything from it. I don’t anyway, but I would have less need to ever consider “government assistance” if I could just use my own money in a way that makes immediate sense for me. I could even afford to contribute to a charity of MY CHOICE or donate some of it to my local volunteer fire department.
But alas, reality sinks in and off the checks go in the mail. To what end – I have no clue and certainly no control.
Perhaps the money will be wasted overseas or end up in some government contractor’s pocket. Maybe it will be combined with other tax dollars and then be handed over to an illegal alien – oh goody. I’ll see my tax dollars being swiped away at Walmart on an illegal alien’s “the world is supposed to pay us” card. Or I’ll drive by the “Hispanic Liaison” in my local town – who already got a $140,000 State grant last year to study their gang issues – there goes some more of my hard-earned tax dollars – which I am not allowed to spend on things important to my life. I could have told them how to get rid of the Hispanic gang problem for a lot less than $140,000 and in fact saved the State a fortune – stop feeding them.
I’ve been paying into the US Government for just under 40 years. Until I was constantly slapped with the knowledge of the enormous waste and lack of accountability of the Federal and State Governments regarding how they allocate what I give them, I had no real problem paying in for the good of the country.
Unfortunately, getting slapped with the info and still having to pay for it is the current name of the game.