Why should you file taxes?

Alex Bowman, Police Reporter

Tax season is upon us, and you might be asking yourself should I pay my taxes? It’s a tedious and frustrating process, but here are a few reasons you should pay your taxes:

1. It’s the law.

If you don’t pay your taxes, you’ll likely receive a bill and a strongly written letter from the IRS. If you still refuse to pay your taxes, you’ll receive a small penalty which will turn into a large penalty with accrued interest. If you still refuse to pay the IRS, they can take legal claim to your property and assets. After this, they can even take your property and wages in order to get the money you owe.

According to the United States Constitution, Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. 

Additionally, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution says, “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

In extreme cases, you can even go to jail for up to five years for tax evasion. However, while this is a possibility, it’s very unlikely it will happen to you as the IRS doesn’t want to put people in jail, they just want the money you owe. According to H&R Block, in 2015 the IRS only indicted 1,330 out of 150 million taxpayers for legal-sourced tax evasion, so the chances of you getting arrested are very slim.

2. Social Welfare Pack. 

Social welfare and social security are two of the best benefits our country offers to the less privileged and homeless. According to Investopedia, taxes over the years are used to fund welfare packages which are extremely important to those who are less fortunate. Without paying taxes these benefits wouldn’t be possible.

3. Taxes fund the government. 

While you might not be happy with the government right now, just imagine what the country would be like without any government at all. Without taxes, the government wouldn’t be able to fund things like Medicaid, Medicare, and Veteran’s affairs benefits and services. Another area the government spends tax dollars is national security. Part of the money that goes to national security and defense goes to the Department of Defense and all of its operations, including active military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. Federal student grants.

As college students, we all know the struggle of paying for school. College is expensive, and we need all the help we can get to help pay for it. Many students receive federal grants, and these are funded by tax dollars. So by paying taxes, you’re actually benefiting yourself as well as other students who qualify for financial aid. 

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