I am amazed every time I hear people talk about tax season. They look forward to their refund as a benevolent act of the federal government. This kind of thinking is a huge demonstration of the lack of fiscal understanding prevalent in today’s society.
To start, let me say this: if you are receiving a refund from the government, you are doing something wrong. It is not that the government is giving you money back. It’s that the government has been earning interest on the money that is already yours for the past year. This is your money, it always has been your money, and through employee withholdings, you have allowed the government to withhold an excess of your money, to earn interest on your money, to spend your money on programs and pork that you may not necessarily agree with. This is money that YOU could have earned interest on, but instead did not.
When tax time comes, the prudent man is the one who owes the government money. Those who own their own business know this quite well. Whereas the common employ never sees the money withheld, those who work for themselves slave away, labor, bid, compete, bring home a hard earned dollar–only to watch up to a third of it stripped away from them in the form of taxes.
To rend onto Caesar at the end of the year the business owner must put away some of their earnings into savings. The benefit is two fold. One, they can earn interest on the money they save for taxes. Two, they have a much clearer understanding of how much the government really does take. Oh, if but everybody would withhold their own money, I doubt they would allow politicians to waste as much as they currently do now.
Try it one year, I dare you. Claim zero on your employee withholding plan. Take a quarter of your dollars earned and put into savings. Then at tax time, use that money to pay your taxes. If you owe the government money at tax time, you are doing the right thing.
This article is even more relevant now that the news coming from California is that the state is going to keep its citizens’ refund checks for an undisclosed amount of time. True, while this is just a tad illegal, those who withheld their own money and will not receive a refund as a result, will not be victimized by the state in this instance.