“Tax is theft, the best way to combat it is to understand every legal deduction you can take or create”.
Let me be clear about two very important things before I continue in this article.
1. This is not going to be anything about how personal income tax is unconstitutional. While I actually believe it is, right now if you don’t pay it you get in a lot of trouble, you must pay all your legal tax obligations.
2. I am not a tax expert or a financial adviser. This article is more about exactly how to think about taxes then the specifics of how to reduce them.
Cutting to the chase on this let me say when it comes to income taxes you should either learn the system or hire a damn good accountant to work the system for you.
The bigger issue is, why exactly is minimizing all taxation a “survivalist topic”? I know it doesn’t sound like typical survivalism, but it is a fundamental part of my 12-part modern survival philosophy for a very good reason. Survivalists are not the people living in bunkers that the media makes them out to be. Above all their primary goals revolve around self sufficiency. When you pay taxes there are two factors at play that reduce your self sufficiency and in fact increase dependency upon government.
The first one is really easy to understand. While you are working on developing a self sufficient lifestyle in today’s world you need money. Unless you plan on living on the street there is just no way around this. Hence you probably work for a living, be it as an employee or an entrepreneur matters not, you do work and in return you get money. Each dollar earned can then be leveraged to improve your self sufficiency, get rid of or avoid debt, purchase long term assets, etc. Hence, every dollar you must then pay as tax is no longer available to you. Again this factor is very easy to understand and most people snap right to it.
The second method of increased dependency is far more insidious and many fail to grasp it at least at first. When a government (federal, state, local) taxes you in any way, shape or form it isn’t just money you don’t have any more. No, at this point it becomes money that is actually used against you in the form of all those wonderful “government programs”. Your income tax is going to fund federal subsidies and your property tax to fund schools with 50% failure rates.
Of course that is only the beginning; governments seem to weave never ending webs of tax traps once the first nickel goes into the system. Taxes paid to your state are used to build roads. Of course then you have to pay a toll to drive on the roads you already paid for. Those tolls then further empower government and fund more “safety programs” like installing red light cameras which provide more money for more programs. No matter what form taxation takes it always has this double pronged attack behind it and creates even more taxes and fees.
This is why you should be looking to avoid any form of taxation by any legal means you can find. Hence, I am not only talking about good accounting practices with your income tax. I am going so far as to suggest you avoid things like “sin taxes”. For example, if you drink beer or if you smoke you are paying a lot of sin taxes every time you pop a top or light up. Many survivalists are making their own beers, wines and even growing tobacco. My thoughts on this are, why not, in fact I am a home brewer myself. These practices are perfectly legal and funnel money back to you rather than into the tax system. This approach addresses both sides of the problem all while directly increasing your self sufficiency.
Another often over looked method of perfectly legal tax avoidance is purchasing items online or used. This practice will quite often avoid state sales tax. In my home state of Texas sales tax is generally about 8% once the local and city portions are added in. This means when I go spend 300 dollars to buy an item locally I am not just spending an extra 27-dollars. I am also providing 27-dollars in funding for programs I really don’t want. Hence even if I paid the same 27-dollars for shipping and purchased the item online, I reduce my contribution to my overlords down at the state capital. Better yet I can buy the item second hand, save money, keep the funds in my local community and still avoid funding Rick Perry’s upgrades to the Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Long term believe it or not many survivalists actually will voluntarily reduce their incomes. Some directly while others will use a more creative means, like setting up a non profit to dispose of their incomes via causes they actually want to support. In other words they will support a local group that provides useful training with their surplus income rather then provide tax gifts to people on welfare.
This is one of the more difficult nuts to crack from the modern survival philosophy. The key is just starting to actually think about how many times every single day you personally empower government. Fill up your car, flip a light switch, have a cold one, buy flowers for your wife, super size a #3 at McDonald’s or make a phone call and money flows directly into the coffers of our government masters. Really think about that and you begin to understand how taxes and debt have transformed America from what was the most free nation in the world into a group of fairly well cared for slaves. Why do you think President Bush said to be patriotic and “go shopping” right after 9-11?
I for one have had enough! Every time I think about spending a dollar I ask simply, is there a way to do this with out contributing to the pension funds of our lofty government masters. Many times there isn’t, but when there is I take the opportunity to avoid empowering the very systems I oppose. Further when I do have to contribute out of necessity I make sure the purchase is part of my long term plan for total self sufficiency. My advice, ask yourself the same questions and I promise you creativity and self sufficiency will be the result.