Taxes Are A Necessary Evil In Life

April 15, 2009

Thanks to Grant Baldwin for this guest post. The author of Reality Check, a book about helping students transition into the real world, Grant is launching a new website,, that answers questions from teenagers about personal finance, savings, and all things money.

The only thing I miss about earning an income as a teenager was that I knew I would ALWAYS get a refund! I’m sure it was the same way for you.

So because of that, I would have to say there was a brief time in my life where I actually liked the tax system (I stress “brief”).  I knew I would end up with a “bonus check” at the end of the year, so what’s not to like?

But then I started looking at my check stub a little closer and discovered Uncle Sam was getting a big cut of my money.  And that I don’t like! 

  • Teach Them What They’re Paying For – We all hate to pay taxes, but deep down we all know it’s just a way of life.  Rather than gripe and complain about it, teach your teen what they’re funding.  Their taxes are helping fund the school they go to, the police and fire protection they have, and the roads they drive on.  We may take all of the above for granted but the fact is that’s part of what we’re paying for.  We just tend to focus on the negative.          
  • Teach Them The Process – While you don’t need your student to necessarily become a junior CPA, it is healthy for them to understand the process.  Assuming they have an earned income and need to file taxes, help them with that process.  Whether you use good ole fashioned pencil and paper or you use some type of software program, let them learn how to file their own taxes. 
  • Teach Them To Have Integrity – I don’t know what the statistics are for people who knowingly cheat on their taxes, but I would be willing to bet it’s far too high.  As we’ve already established, nobody likes to pay taxes, but it is the law, so we need to do it right.  Use filing your taxes as a teachable moment to talk about integrity and doing the right thing even when no one is watching.  The money someone saves by cheating on their taxes pales in comparison to what they give up with their integrity. 

This post is part of a series “12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them)“, you can visit the sites below for the rest of the series:


Will this article help you save or earn more money? Get others like it simply by entering your email address below. Your email is used only for delivering daily money tips and you can opt out of delivery at any time. Click here to see all your free subscription options.


Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

All posts by


12 Responses to Taxes Are A Necessary Evil In Life


  • Personal Finance Lessons for Teens |
  • 12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them) | Free From Broke
  • 12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money
  • Delay Gratification To Succeed
  • 12 Things Teenagers Should Know About Money | Grant Baldwin's Blog
  • Don't Be A Tightwad - Give Generously
  • Credit Cards for Teens | Prime Time Money
  • 12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them) » Poorer Than You
  • 12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them) : Generation X Finance