In recognition of my political rant on the SOTU address, I will practice what I preach. While it can be interesting, animating or completely maddening (or even fun for some) to grumble about the short-comings and incompetency of our government, complaining does few things. Venting about it may relieve stress for you but it often causes stress for the person you are talking to and it does nothing to address the actual problems.
While I can’t do much to convince others to see beyond the massive Dog & Pony Show that our government is constantly putting on for us, I can do things in order to lessen my involuntary contribution to the ever-expanding tyrannical behemoth. And that’s Tax Evasion. Not in the sense of “cheating” on your tax returns, but in avoiding taxes in the first place.
There are many ways to avoid paying taxes. Sales Taxes have been such a commonplace item in our life that we don’t even think about them any longer. Just keep this in the back of your mind: Every time I buy something (other than used), I’m paying Uncle Sam for that “privilege”.
So here are just a few things you can do to tell Uncle Sam to “stuff it”. And it won’t even bring any undue attention to you or your family.
Plant a garden. Even if it’s just in a few buckets of tomatoes on your condo patio. Or a half-acre plot of heirloom veggies. Every homegrown delectable you eat is a physical, tasty & healthy way of not giving your money to the government via sales tax at the grocery store. Same thing goes if you have the means to raise your own meat, milk and / or eggs.
Barter. You don’t need to live on a farm to do this and it doesn’t have to be “I’ll give you three chickens if you give me a side of bacon” kind’a thing. Do you watch your children at home during the day? Maybe your accountant or dentist has a kid that needs daycare. Could you swap some daycare time for his or her services? Can you mow the neighbor’s lawn in exchange for that old wheelbarrow behind his shed? You’ll never know if you don’t ask and the worst that they can say is “No”.
Shop Thrift Stores & the Classifieds. Before you buy something new, try a local thrift store. There are also plenty of free papers (often with free listings) available and internet sites like FreeCycle and Craig’s List that have items for sale & barter, sometimes even free. Not only can you get items cheaper than new, but you’re not going to have to pay sales tax on it.
Internet or Catalog Shopping. Take advantage of those companies or internet sites that don’t charge sales tax.
Tax-Free Weekends. I believe Missouri has a day or weekend like this. You can buy certain school items like computers, books & clothing tax free. I think it’s just the state’s tax you are avoiding - the Feds still take your money. But make sure it’s something that you were going to be buying anyways and that you’ve exhausted any way of getting it online or second-hand (state and Fed tax-free).
Restaurant & Fast Food Taxes. Home cooking is better for you and you don’t have to pay taxes on the restaurant bill. Not only that, but some cities even have an additional “sin” tax on take-out and fast-food items. Eat at home.
Fuel Taxes. Ever wonder why the taxes aren’t posted on your fuel receipt at the gas station? Because you’d probably have a stroke if you saw it each time you pumped gas into your car. Want to reduce your tax load? Then plan your vehicle outings. Don’t make unnecessary trips. Make sure you have a list so there’s no more running out to the store for “just one thing”. Less money spent on fuel and fewer taxes paid.
Save your hard-earned money from the bite of State & Federal taxes any and every way you can. It may not be long before they pass laws making growing your own food tax-evasion. Think I’m kidding? I bet your not-so-distant relatives would have laughed if somebody suggested that they would be paying taxes on their outhouse or the family plow mule. (BTW, if your Loo is on a permanent foundation, it is taxable here. Same with the mule….although it doesn’t have to be on a foundation).If anyone else has any ideas, please post them here so you can share with the rest of us.