If we are honest, when we consider what is most important to us, money is near the top of the list. We may want to deny that, not willing to admit anything so crass, but a closer look will prove it true more often than not. That fact is not altogether damning. After all, money is important. We need it to pay the bills, buy food, cover rent, support our families and so on. What is even more important, however, is our attitude toward money.
Don’t Just Complain, Get Informed
When it comes to money, there are several areas that dominate, such as how to make money, how to save money, how to protect your money and so on. One aspect of money that can be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid is taxes. Ben Franklin’s quote is famous in part, we would assume, because it rings so true: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
An age-old custom is to complain about the government, while simultaneously feeling like there isn’t much else we can do about it. That is likely how many of us feel about taxes. Except, it may be possible to do more than we think, whether it’s taxes or anything else. The first step to doing anything is to become better informed on a subject.
There are any number of organizations, foundations, think tanks and others that are dedicated to researching, analyzing and reporting on tax matters. It behooves us to take advantage of these resources if we want to know more about such a major topic.
One such organization is the Tax Foundation. Founded in 1937, this nonprofit works toward smarter tax policy at every level of government. Their idea of an ideal tax code is one that encompasses simplicity, neutrality, transparency and stability. Would that all government action and laws followed those ideals.There are any number of organizations, foundations, think tanks and others that are dedicated to researching, analyzing and reporting on tax matters. It behooves us to take advantage of these resources. Click To Tweet
Tax Foundation Mission
Briefly, here are their thoughts on those four ideals:
Simplicity: “Tax codes should be easy for taxpayers to comply with and for governments to administer and enforce.”
Transparency: “Tax policies should clearly and plainly define what taxpayers must pay and when they must pay it.”
Neutrality: “Taxes should neither encourage nor discourage personal or business decisions. The purpose of taxes is to raise needed revenue, not to favor or punish specific industries, activities, and products.”
Stability: “Taxpayers deserve consistency and predictability in the tax code. Governments should avoid enacting temporary tax laws, including tax holidays, amnesties, and retroactive changes.”
Major areas of their work include their Center for Federal Tax Policy, Center for State Tax Policy, Center for Legal Reform and an educational mission providing vast amounts of information. These include tax and spending data, tax maps and a searchable map for state by state tax info.
Daily posts to their Tax Policy Blog discuss such topics as a carbon tax, state sales tax, universal savings accounts, medical marijuana taxes and many more.
The information available on the website is quite extensive, perhaps more than it might appear at first glance. Check out the main menu items at the top of the site and you will see detailed submenu items covering all sorts of taxes.
To get better informed about taxes, check out the Tax Foundation.