This One’s Going To Get Me Audited

Here’s a conundrum that has eluded the concept of logic for centuries. Our government wants us to pay taxes. Fair enough. Otherwise they wouldn’t have any money. The government also wants us to figure out how much to pay them. We figure this out by having the government send us a W-2 form. Anyone else catch what’s wrong with this particular scenario?

The IRS issues the W-2 form. The IRS wants us to figure out how much to tax ourselves by rates they set. We do the work. Our employers send the IRS the information to go on the W-2 form. The IRS has the tax rates. Why exactly are we doing this work again?

They have all the information. What they need from us – no, that’s not quite right. ALL they need from us is the deductions. They know where we live. They know how much money we made. They know how many people live in our house and how many of them can be used as dependents. And, here’s the kicker, they know how much they should be giving back or how much we should be paying. They already know! And yet, every year, we have to either do it ourselves, or go to an accountant, or some online version of one, to figure it all out ourselves.

Why exactly are we doing this?

The IRS is like that crap substitute teacher you had in math class. “I’ve got the answer sheet and that’s not correct. What did you wrong? I have no idea. I just know you didn’t do it correctly.” That’s all we get. If we do it wrong, we get penalized. Sometimes, harshly. I understand that this may be an over simplification, but it does hold true for a majority of the citizens of the United States. It’s probably true in other countries as well.

They know everything they need to do. They have the information. They have the questions AND the answers. What it sounds like is a scam. They want us to screw up and say that either the government owes us less than they do, or we owe them more than they we really do. Is there another reason? I’m open to answers.

Now, don’t get me completely wrong on this. I’m not opposed to paying taxes to pay for things like roads, schools and, yes, medical care. Some of you are just now catching on that all this “socialism” you’re fighting so hard against includes roads and schools… and the police and fire departments, and electricity and many, many other things you take for granted. To do this stuff, we need money and that comes from taxes.

What I don’t understand, is why we’re doing the extra work that has already been done. We don’t go out and repave new roads ourselves. We don’t go out and build schools that are already there. Why, exactly, are we the ones who figure out the taxes that have already been figured out?

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