Happy April 15th! Happy April 15th? Unless you are an IRS agent or accountant, who would dare say such a thing? Surely, I am delusional. I can feel a few of you clenching your fists at me. At least one of you is thinking up ways to leave flaming bags of poo on my doorstep.

Jim Rohn Quote on Paying Taxes
Don’t base your life on how your tax dollars are spent. Take charge of your own life. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

My wife and I paid a record amount in taxes this year. In fact, we paid more in taxes than most of my family has ever earned in one year.
At first, I was angry. I found myself saying things like, “I really hate the government” and “couldn’t we just flush this money down a toilet instead?” I became bitter at watching all of that money leave my hands and disappear into the vast wasteland that is the U.S. Treasury.
I even found myself slightly demotivated at hitting my income goals for this year. They are significantly higher than last year and I began to ask the question, “what is the point?”

So, what is the point?

As I mailed off our taxes, which resembled a collection of manuscripts (we have four to mail: state personal, state business, federal personal, and federal business), I realized something:
Whether the government gets more next year isn’t the point. The point is who I must become in order to hit my income goals this year.
The words of highly successful people like Jim Rohn hit me like a ton of bricks:

Become a millionaire, not for the money, but for who you must become to do so.

I’m with him so far. I am down with both sides of that equation.

You cannot base your life on what the government does or how your tax dollars are being spent. You’ve got to vote well, and then chart your own course; vote well, and then take charge of your own life.

This one is a little harder for me. I kind of like criticizing the government. I’d rather blame them for why we haven’t hit all of our goals. That’s much easier than taking a look in the mirror and pointing the finger at the face staring back at me.

Taxes are our way of feeding the goose that lays the golden eggs of freedom, democracy, and enterprise. Someone says, “Well, the goose eats too much.” That’s probably true. But better a fat goose than no goose at all!

OK, OK, Rohn. You have a point here.
“Kill the goose,” I think.
“But if not for me,” the goose says, “you’d live in anarchy.” Touché, goose, touché.

Be a happy taxpayer.

Woah, Rohn, you’ve gone too far! Happy? Happy!?!?
Yes, happy.
Blessed that I earned enough to pay that much. Blessed to still live in a great country, faults, weaknesses, warts, reality television, and all.

Action item: If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are in the top 3% of income earners in the world. Remember that and resolve to change any negative attitudes about taxes or other uncontrollable factors in your life. Focus on your goals and what achieving them will make you. Resolve to be a happy taxpayer.

Bottom line

Is the government going to waste a lot of my money?
Would I like to have some of it back?
Of course.
Are some gigantic, influential “fatcats” going to get rich off my tax money?
Am I still going cringe a little every time my business pays me and half the money is gone?
You betcha.
Is any of that going to stop me from continuing to produce and going after my goal?
Not on your life.
So Happy April 15th to all of you. It’s a day not unlike the other 364…a day to be awesome, a day to create something wonderful, a day that the Lord has made, so rejoice and be glad in it…yes, even if you are paying your taxes.
Are you choosing to be a happy taxpayer?

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8 thoughts on “Why Paying a Record Amount in Taxes Doesn’t Bother Me

  1. Alex Barker says:

    Honestly, I try not to think about my taxes. Whenever I review my pay stub, I see the difference between how much I made and how much is left over after Uncle Sam. The difference can easily cause inner rage. Which is why I try to not think about it. I focus on my budget with my wife and we consider monthly what WE can do to better manage our money.
    Love the focus on being a cheerful giver Matt. It’s a blessing that we can give to our government (which protects us), despite all of the wasteful spending our govt does.
    It all goes back to gratitude doesn’t it? It’s a lifestyle choice. So glad I read The Millionaire Mind 🙂

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Love this Alex: “I focus on my budget with my wife and we consider monthly what WE can do to better manage our money. ”
      As the business owner, I have a general idea of how much they get but I try not to know the exact amount each time we pay ourselves. Unfortunately, in this case, I can do math 🙂 So I sometimes get angry when we only have 45% left over.

  2. Sabrina Malone says:

    Can’t tell you how much I needed this post today, Matt. Still putting
    the finishing touches on our taxes, (Had waited too late to get the info to our accountant, so this is the first time I’ve ever in my life done them
    myself. As you can imagine, my attitude wasn’t “happy.”) Then comes Matt’s chipper post in my inbox. Causing me to wonder:
    Question: “Could
    Sabrina really choose to be a happy taxpayer?”
    Answer: “Why yes, as a matter
    of fact, she can.”
    Thanks for the reminder. Now I’m going to go listen to
    that catchy “Happy” song” and the Lego Movie “Everything is Awesome” song while e-file my taxes! 😉

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is awesome Sabrina!
      I know it’s not a happy day for most, but as I was journaling this morning, I started listing all of the things I am thankful for that the government does reasonably well. Roads, safety, water, etc.
      Does it have faults? Yep. So does family. But I am still thankful for it and them.

  3. I regularly deal with a relative who goes to war with this company or that company, at least in his head. He is so sensitive to feeling taken or used, that he makes bad decisions and hurts himself in the process.
    Sometimes you just have to allow people to abuse you, and go on. You cannot stop all abuse, and you cannot win constant warfare. No, sometimes you have to pick your battles, and allow others to have unjust victories, so long as it allows you to move forward.
    My relative spent much of his life fighting, and missed some opportunities where he could have been building and planting.
    Or to put it another way, fear and anger make poor life-builders.

  4. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tax time wasn’t too bad this year. I’ve kind of been ambivalent with paying taxes. My thing is that I wish the system wasn’t so complicated.

  5. Jon Stolpe says:

    I will say that I’m thankful to live in this country. Taxes are part of it – I guess.

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