Thursday, February 11, 2016

On Paying Taxes

I've written about the chains that bind being an immigrant to money. You can read that here. It's nothing new, nor is this an attempt at a think piece that'll go up on some click bait site like the Huffington Post, only to be blindly shared on social media for a few seconds. No, like the majority of my writing here, this is me thinking out loud. Ever since I started paying taxes, both through an ITIN and currently through DACA, it has always bugged me that not only does the government take their cut from my checks automatically, but I also end up paying a few more thousand dollars more every year because I have no deductibles to claim. It makes me feel as if I'm just working to pay for the privilege to pay.

And that's when it hit me, everything I pay through state and federal taxes is the literal monetary value this country puts on me and my immigration status. Don't let anyone tell you that you can put a number to the cost of a life because bother, lemme tell you, I put a a few numbers together every year to be able to live comfortably. I've gotten out of the habit of justifying my life style by comparing it to someone else's and saying that at least I'm not them, you know. That whole, 'things could be worse'  and "at least I'm not them" expression. The system doesn't give me any incentives to play by the rules, rather, I get taxed even harder when I do.

It would be so easy to just flat out not pay any kind of taxes or go to a crooked notary and lie to get all kinds of money back, but that would kill any and all future chances of being a permanent resident. I mean really, that's the only reason I have for flying straight and paying up, for the hope that things will get better and I won't have to be on DACA the rest of my life. Bu you know what, putting that kind of fear into someone will only make them work hard enough to not get caught and just go through the motions. Still, at the end of the day, I have nothing to complain about given my current life style. I just like to complain and moan about the financial responsibilities I have to this country. I work semi-hard for that money, I should be able to frivolously spend it as I see fit, but that's not how things work. That's not how they work at all.