Taxation and niceness

The lotto jackpot in New York reached 144 million last week. As my friend Michele and I drove past the huge billboard reading those unimaginable numbers one evening, Michele said, “I don’t even know what I would do if I won the jackpot.” I said, “I do!” I continued to tell her my plan of paying off my student loans and my immediate family’s mortgages and bills, because I said, “then it’s not a gift and they don’t have to pay taxes on it.” And Michele, financial pro that she is, says, “Actually, that is a gift. Sorry to ruin it for you.” Appalled, I asked, “Even if I didn’t give them the money, I just lightened their burden?!!” 

 “Yup,” she replied. Trying to find a way around the gift tax limitations, I said, “Well, I could put the mortgage in both our names, pay it off, and then sign it back over to them.” She said, “Nope, signing it over to them is a gift.” Ug. I mean, come on!!!  Michele then told me there are limits on personal gifting above which the government taxes you. It seems so unfair. I mean, I know I’ll never win the lottery–because I don’t play!– but just the idea that someone with good monetary fortune cannot help others without being penalized for it depresses me! I’m sure there was logic for the law (such as corporations finding ways to fiddle with their records under the guise of “charitable giving”), but this just seems preposterous!  Our government taxes being nice. I suppose I could live with it more if I knew the taxes I paid went to things I cared about and not things I didn’t approve of, but that is not how things work. 

So where’s the positive? What’s there to be happy about when, if you had money to share, there are rules and regulations that limit your generosity? I have decided I should be grateful I am not wealthy in my finances, because it would be a constant battle to be as “nice” as I would like if I were endowed with uber amounts of moolah.  The government doesn’t blink at the mediocre amounts I can afford to give charitably.

As soon as I realized how lucky I am to just have what I have and to give what I can without worrying about a penalty, I remembered the type of wealth that spans all income brackets. I am wealthy in love and friends and health, and that is such a blessing! My joy, my happiness, my positivity, my appreciation for these things: I can share all those things as much as I can muster! Like the India Arie song There’s Hope goes, “…It doesn’t cost a thing to smile, you don’t have to pay to laugh; you better thank God for that!”

Advertisements

One thought on “Taxation and niceness

  1. WONDERFUL WAY TO START MY DAY.

    TAKES NOTHING TO SMILE, BUT A KIND HEART.

    DADDY ALWAYS SAID SMILE WITH THE GOOD AND BAD, IT WILL HELP YOU AND ONES AROUND YOU.

    THANKS FOR JOLTING THAT MEMORY. AND HAVE A GREAT WEEK

    HOLYN

I want to hear your thoughts! Please share....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s