Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Nothing's certain but death and...

Taxes again. I keep coming back to this subject lately. But no longer will I consider paying taxes one of the two unavoidable events in life. When I blogged the other day about my unexpected zero income tax bill this year, I neglected to mention something important.

Namely, that this was just the beginning. Of my own quiet tax revolt, that is.

For years - since my last year of college, when I got sick of working two jobs just to keep myself in school - I've been wanting to kiss the rat race, and income taxes, goodbye. Live frugally? Cool. Enjoy more free time? You bet. Find creative challenges in both of these opportunities? Sure thing. And most importantly, deny the Beast its pound of flesh each day.

But I've been hampered by the need to earn enough FRNs to pay off the debts I racked up before my epiphany. Which means having taxable income every year.

Now that I've inadvertently taken a business loss, and didn't owe the IRS for last year, the schedule's speeding up faster than I planned. And I've got some time on my hands this summer.

So I'm thinking to accelerate the repayments even faster by finding a temporary job. And when they give me the W-4 withholding form, I could write "EXEMPT." Because if I recall correctly, that's okay to do if "I owed no federal income tax last year, and I do not expect to owe any this year either."

I admire greatly the principled, outspoken, IRS-challenging tax rebels like Irwin Schiff. But their way of Outlawry is not mine. Rather, I am the type to do as David Gross and Rose Wilder Lane and many other Ghostly Outlaws have done - to choose and to embrace a life of simple things and hard work and self-sufficiency. And I honor them and all Outlaws like them, who consciously withdraw from the Beast's clutches.

Because being an Outlaw doesn't have to mean breaking the law. It can mean putting yourself out of the law's reach.


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