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, BrokePiggy.com, 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:
- Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees @ Bargaineering.com
- Two Words: Compound Interest @ PoorerThanYou.com
- Delay Gratification To Succeed @ GatherLittleByLittle.com
- Living On A Budget Isn’t An Option @ TotalCandor.com
- Credit Cards Will Steal Your Lunch Money @ PTMoney.com
- Should You Earn A College Degree@ TheDigeratiLife.com
- Spend Money Based On Needs Not Wants @ MoneyNing.com
- There Is More Free Money Than You Realize For College @ FreeFromBroke.com
- Living On Your Own Isn’t Cheap @ Studenomics.com
- Taxes Are A Necessary Evil In Life @ MoneySmartLife.com
- Do What You Love, Love What You Do @ GenXFinance.com
- Don’t Be A Tightwad: Give Generously @ CashMoneyLife.com
All posts by Ben Edwards