The Tax Man Cometh

I’m not one to typically complain much about taxes. I don’t like them (who does?), but they’re a necessary evil. Governments, by their very nature, are not money-making enterprises. In fact, they don’t make money at all (we even have laws to prevent them from competing in the market and making money). Look at the US post office and tell me that any corporation would keep that train wreck alive. But if you really think about it, we get a pretty sweet deal from the government. I pay a small stipend of my earnings and they subsidize schooling, provide roads, put out fires, keep me from being murdered, and will even roll tanks over other countries that may (or may not, depending on your political beliefs) be posing a threat to my livelihood (I’m looking at you, Mussolini).

I may just be a lackey of the man, but for all the flaws of (all) governments, it’s hard to get a better return on investment than taxes. I mean.. seriously. If you get kidnapped by pirates, the US government will send an entire warship out with helicopters and special operations people worth millions of dollars to come save you. They won’t pay your medical bill, but hey.. one thing at a time.

But there’s one thing that even I, the government’s number one fan, can’d understand:

Why do I have to file taxes?!

And by ‘I’, I don’t mean ‘you’. I really mean me, Jason!. I’m all self-centered like that (also, this is my blog and I pay for it, so I can do these things). You see, it’s a nice, sunny Sunday (thank god it worked out that way, because it helps the alliteration) and I’m here filling out 1040’s and 2555EZ’s. As I said, tax money covers all that good stuff, like police and fire departments and roads and postal services and and and. I pay for that stuff here in Japan because I use it, benefit from it, and may very well like the police to come and save me from a cat someday.

However…

I can’t help but notice that I’m not in America. In the past 4 years, I’ve spent a whole 9 days on American soil. I’m not using the roads, calling the police, or getting my fires put out. So why is it that the IRS would like me to report income earned in another country in another currency and spent on foreign goods? Of course, all my earnings are exempt (that’s another story), but still. Could the IRS at least send me a cool bean bag or something? A Rubik’s Cube, maybe?

Of course, one could change their nationality to get around this problem.. but why do that? I still rather like the US (did I mention the TANKS?) and there is always the off-chance that I may get abducted by Somali pirates. I guess if I have to devote one evening a year to filling out paperwork that essentially says “Hi, I made money. No, I will not give any of it to you because I don’t live there.” to get saved from pirates, it’s probably worth it. I don’t have to be happy about it, though.

In other news!

I sent the last batch of money to the US on Friday, finishing up my annual savings/investment goals for 2012! That essentially means that I don’t have to worry too much about saving and investing until 2013. Time to go buy doughnuts!

And speaking of doughnuts! The hamburger cookies went well last week. So after talking it over with my coworkers, I decided that next weekend I’m making candy sushi. I figure you can use marshmallows/rice-krispies for the rice, stuff it, roll it up, and coat in dark chocolate (for the seaweed). The only question is what I put inside it. I’m currently considering yellow cake and pretzels. Gimme time, I’ll let you know next week.

On that note, I need to get to making dinner and then start on filing my taxes. It’s an exciting life I lead, I know. Don’t be jealous.

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