Our big day of the year lies ahead. As we all know, the period leading up to April 15 is when we have to check our files and memories to determine how much money we made during the previous year so we can pay our income tax.
Income is the big word there because that is how we determine how much we owe the federal and state governments for living here. And, of course, that income can vary considerably, depending upon who is figuring it and how much tax he is content to pay.
Other methods of supporting our federal government for its, ahem, services have been proposed in recent years. And undoubtedly they will be campaign issues in the next presidential election.
Our present system, as we all know, is based on paying a percentage of our income which fluctuates according to how high that income is. If we make a lot, we can pay more than 30 percent of it to the feds and a smaller portion to the state. If we make a little, we can pay down to 0% which is hardly possible for anyone nowadays with a fruitful job.
The alternatives are to have a flat tax or what is called a fair tax.
The flat tax would require the same figurations of how much money was made during the year. But it would exempt taxation on everyone’s income up to a certain amount and then tax the remaining incomes, if any is left, at a much higher percentage rate.
The fair tax would change the entire system of taxation. It would require no figuration of income.
Each person would pay a percentage of the cost when he purchases something, whether it is for individual or business use or production of products to sell to others. In other words, a sales tax and value added tax similar to what our state and parishes now collect.
That would be simplest of all to figure out. There would be no despised April 15 lying ahead and a simple percentage of each purchase is all that would be required to determine how much tax to pay.
There would be many advantages to the fair tax, in addition to its simplicity. There would be much less cheating.
Nowadays, some folks just forget about April 15 and pay nothing. If they get caught, too bad, but many don’t. And many others just consider part of their income their own private business and leave it out of figuration for their government contributions.
This explanation of what could lie ahead is skimpy to say the least but it covers the main possibilities for the future. If we want relief from the mental fatigue and physical exhaustion caused by income tax, fair tax is the way to go.
We’re sure one or two of the next presidential candidates will propose it but it is not likely to get through that soon. We need to keep it as a viable consideration, however.
Some day it may make its way into our lives as a sensible and easy way to support our governments.