An Homage To Tax Season
For many small business owners tax season can be enough to make you wonder why you decided to start a business in the first place. While large businesses have entire departments (and CFOs) that make sure their taxes are properly filled, many small businesses get by with “just let me survive these next few weeks” levels of comprehension. Compounding this is the way many small businesses are structured, incorporated, and possibly connected to the livelihoods of their owners. The result: No one likes tax season.
While most blogs might focus on how best to mitigate this annual affliction I’d like to instead focus on how this necessary evil propels us as a society forward. Maybe we just need to think about our taxes differently.
Roads & Infrastructure
I think this is something we all take for granted. Our roads, rails, and general infrastructure is what makes living and working possible. Imagine not being able to travel outside of your neighborhood for work, what kind of employment opportunities would be available for you and those around you. Most of the money for our roads comes out of a gas tax and while we scoff at the price of gas and the idea of increasing that tax, imagine how dinged up all our cars and trucks would be if those potholes never got fixed and were allowed to grow. Broken axles, anyone?
Being a New Yorker this is one is very visible to me. That being said public transportation is in every city and in most places around the country. Public transportation helps children, parents, students, the elderly, and pretty much everyone else get around. It’s the catalyst that helps grow opportunities and accessibility, especially in larger metro areas. This is usually paid for by a city or state tax, or both depending on where you live. Even if you don’t use public transportation you can still benefit from it every day. It’s how millions of people reach their jobs all over the country making sure the best person is in charge of assembling that new car or furniture set you bought.
Schools & Education
Don’t you hate it when you go to the store and the cashier gives short changes you? Or when you’re at work and you notice a $28,000 billing error that your company has been paying for the last 22 months? Well, these things are surprisingly avoidable with a strong and competent education system at both the local and national level! Every year we pay taxes to ensure our education system can nurture and improve the lives of students, and by virtue ourselves, everywhere. While we might not like paying taxes at least we can take solace in the fact that the US has an ~86% literacy rate. That means you should only be infuriated by those around you part of the time…
While everyone knows that fire departments are funded by taxes and donations it doesn’t seem to be a thought when sending in that check to the IRS. Next time you’re feeling down just remember that good fire protection equipment and the safety of firefighter lives is directly reliant on you paying your taxes (and donating to your local fire station).
Same goes for police officers! Want a better trained police force? Want to feel safe no matter your location, age, or time of day? Then keep paying those taxes! A better funded force doesn’t have to mean a larger force. That money can go to better training programs, better equipment, community outreach, and more collaboration tools.
Probably one of the coolest things our taxes go towards is space. Just because we’re down here doesn’t mean we can’t partake in the advancements of space. Research that goes into our space program has a massive success rate for being introduced and used in the private sector. Not just that, next time you’re lost or want to find a bar on google maps thank your lucky stars we have a space program that pioneered the rocket technology required to put all those satellites into orbit!
These are just a few of the important programs that our taxes go to. There are important programs at all levels of government that help veterans, seniors, and those with disabilities. While we might not notice the work our tax dollars do, they make sure our society runs like a semi-smooth, marginally well oiled machine. Happy tax season everyone!
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