Ready or Not: Pay Those Taxes and Move On

“Getting my first job was a sign of independence.”

I don’t know about you, but I remember the months leading up to my 16th birthday and how excited I was to finally be able to get a job. My first job. I had no complaints because I worked with children in a daycare. Those precious babies gave me such joy during the time I worked there. Regardless of what was going on with the adults or someone’s constant need to go on a power trip, I could always count on the children to be full of light, love, and positivity.

For me, getting my first job was a sign of independence. While I could still pester my father to cover the cost of larger expenses, I was able to pay for things on my own. If I wanted to go to the mall with my friends, all I needed to worry about was getting a ride to one of the several options near our town. It was a great feeling being able to pay for my own things…most of the time. Reflecting on that period of my life, it was pretty great. My parents didn’t ask me to contribute to bills or use my salary to pay for anything—my money was mine. Outside of paying my tithe and sending funds to my sponsored child, everything I earned remained in my bank account. Well, almost everything.

This brings me to today’s topic: taxes. Fellow navigator, I get it. Taxes are the bane of many people’s existence. I mean, we go to work and put in our time just to turn around and have the government say they want a piece of our earnings. I don’t think I would mind as much if I actually saw where my tax dollars went. The problem is that just about every other month or so news breaks about people misappropriating funds or companies getting contracts to develop a city and not finishing the job.

Despite my personal feelings when it comes to paying taxes, I do it anyway. Why? Because, after 20+ years of living in this country, I’ve learned that you do not mess with Uncle Sam. Yup. That’s it. That’s the post for today. The state and federal governments are not to be toyed with. They want their money, and they want it when they say they should get it. If you fail to file taxes by April 15th, the government has no problem bringing down the full weight of its power and hitting you with ridiculous fees until you pay them what you owe.

What’s the solution to avoiding all of the mayhem that could potentially come your way? Pay your taxes. I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve never actually had to do my taxes myself. While I don’t think it is a difficult task, I find it to be one of those things that I would rather leave in the hands of a professional. With that said, if you are not in a position to hire a CPA to take care of your taxes, there are alternatives.

“I’ve learned that you do not mess with Uncle Sam.”

TurboTax and H&R Block are two giants in this space that offer software programs that make doing your taxes easy. Now, let’s be clear, these programs are ideal if you are not necessarily looking to exhaust all possible deductions and are willing to do a little bit of outside research to fully understanding that you’re not just plugging in numbers. If you’re not the organized type or don’t care to take a day or two to sit down and navigate the portals, the programs may not be for you. With that said, the price tag for one of these software programs is a lot more palatable than paying an accountant several hundreds of dollars.

Whether we like it or not, taxes are here to stay. Unless you want the government coming after you or living a life where your existence is unknown, the best thing to do is to just give them their portion of your earnings and be done with it. Honestly report what you make and how much you owe because the last thing you want is to be audited—a post for another day.

Fellow navigator, how do you feel about paying taxes? Do you do your taxes yourself (with the help of a software program), or do you pay an accountant to handle it for you? Tell me about it!

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