Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Honest or Ridiculous?

Dear Ms. D—:

I want to register my children for the Voluntary Disclosure Program. Both earned interest income in 2007 for which I failed to file individual income tax returns. It was the first year either had earned more than $33 in taxable income, and the idea that children with [very little] income who are too young to go to school would be old enough to pay taxes simply never occurred to me. I will file income tax forms for each of the children – I estimate that the elder owed $7 and the younger, $1. No wages were withheld, as they did not earn wages.

When we spoke on the phone, I mentioned that my four-year-old was likely to owe taxes for 2005 and 2006, but when I calculated his taxable income, I found that it fell slightly short of $33 each year.

Shannon Christman

Feeling compelled to do what is right, even in small matters, I actually wrote this letter last night. I feel completely ridiculous wasting everyone’s time and salaries to pay $8 in back taxes – I hope I can at least give some state employee a good laugh. My motives aren’t completely about having absolute integrity, though. I also have an irrational fear that the state will discover that I failed to pay my kids’ taxes and come after them a few years from now, demanding a penalty that far exceeds the original liability (even though it would be a waste of their time and resources to do so). What does that say about my trust in the government and my opinion of the way they use tax money?

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”-Matthew 22:21

1 comment:

  1. You never know how God might use this. The little things matter.


Thanks for your comments! Agree or disagree, but please comment respectfully.