It is that fun time of year again… tax day is approaching. No doubt, most of us… with rare exception… would prefer to pay less taxes (or no taxes) to the government. Many are tempted to lie and misrepresent their income to the government in order to reduce their tax bill. We should take care to consider what God wants from us, instead of what we want. There is no qualification about agreeing with the government on how the money is to be spent in order to pay the taxes. We are simply to pay the rightful taxes due.
Be Subject to Government
1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Tribute to Caesar
15Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. 16And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. 17“Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” 18But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19“Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. 20And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 22And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.
Ok. So we are supposed to pay the rightful taxes due. Got it. That said, paying taxes is a lot like spending money. We should do so carefully and only pay what is required. There is no “extra credit” in overpaying taxes. In fact, government often uses the money inefficiently and without wisdom. In almost all cases government uses the money without giving glory to God.
We should pay careful attention to how managing our money affects what we pay in taxes. Key decisions in investing and estate planning can have big implications. To ignore the significant impact of taxes on our financial planning is to be irresponsible and likely pay too much money to the government. If you want to give it away … that is great, but find a way to honor God with the money and give it away wisely rather than overpay the government.
Many reputable investing sites have resources to help such as those at Charles Schwab’s online resource center section on taxes or Fidelity’s online guidance and retirement section on taxes. These resources can be very helpful. So too can relatively affordable tax software like TurboTax which make complying with your tax requirements accurate and more efficient… saving much time and headache. If you prefer, consult your financial advisor and tax professional for impacts that you should consider for your financial planning.
The money we pay in taxes (federal, state, local, income, sales, inheritance, etc.) represents a lot of money. Understanding how to optimize your tax burden will help you achieve your overall financial goals more effectively.
Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .