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PostIs Taxation Theft? An Accountant's Perspective from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA, 05/24/15 3:03 am)
JE: When commenting on Ric Mauricio's post of 22 May, I asked if in the accountant's view, taxation is a form of theft. Ric responds:
One's first view of taxation could be that of theft. However, let us revisit our definition of theft. It is the taking of assets from one party without the owner of the asset's consent, i.e., no agreement and no exchange of anything of value.
Thus, an employee enters into an agreement with an employer to provide his or her services in exchange for a salary and benefits. If an employee does not like the exchange, that employee can resign. If the employer feels that the employee is not providing enough value in exchange for their salary, then the employer can fire them. Slavery, on the other hand, is theft.
Regarding taxation, there is a tacit agreement that in order for an individual (or business) to live and work in a country or state, that individual then agrees to pay the taxes imposed by the government. In other words, it is a "pay to play" situation. If one doesn't like paying taxes to California, they can then move to Nevada or Alaska or Florida, etc. If one doesn't like paying taxes to the US, then one can move to another country where taxes are lower or non-existent. My American expat clients who live in Italy have their income exempted from US taxation due to the Foreign Income Exemption for incomes less than $99k. In addition, because they are teachers in Italy, they do not pay Italian income taxes. Sweet!
You may not like the taxes imposed by the government and the way those tax dollars is utilized, but it is what it is. As Jesus taught, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." I tweak that teaching to read, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, but no more than what Caesar deserves." I just saved my clients $80,000 in taxes this coming year by having them hold off on closing on the sale of their property by 3 weeks. Yes, no more than what Caesar deserves.
JE comments: For standing up to Caesar, there are few advocates more savvy (and fearless) than Ric Mauricio!