Friday, June 13, 2008

Taxation in Narnia: Part Infinity

Well, today the spirit moved me to pay the $64.32 cents that I owe to the State of New Jersey for no apparent reason other than using the Holland tunnel ONCE to visit my parents on Mother's Day. So I'm writing out the check and then I realize I could call 1-800-2PAYTAX to pay the amount. So I dial the number and the operator directs me as follows:

"Hello, and welcome to 800-2PAYTAX, America's automated tax payment service. To pay federal income tax, press 1. To pay a state income tax, press 2." So I press 2, and it says "Please say the name of the state to which you'd like to make a payment" so I say "New Jersey" and the operator says "I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Please say the name of the state." So I say "NEW JERSEY" and the operator says "Thanks, please hold. In order to pay by credit card, there will be a convenience charge of 2.4% of the total amount of your payment."

Um, IS THIS A JOKE?? Obviously I hung up the phone immediately because while it may be convenient for New Jersey to charge me more money while they have me on the phone, it isn't convenient for me to pay $35 extra dollars just for the privilege of paying taxes that I don't even owe via credit card over the phone. I am already doing them a giant favor by paying them an "installment interest" payment of $64 dollars and now they're sneakily trying to get me to do math in my head and calculate how much 2.4% is of $64 in the 3 seconds before they connect me with the automated machine. What if I wanted to pay my entire federal income tax by phone - that would basically mean I'd be paying 2.4% of my annual income, which would be approximately $3.4 million dollars. What's really ridiculous here is that I was just in the dog park and saw a bunch of bums and I can guarantee you that they're not paying taxes in NY, NJ or anywhere for the matter, but instead of going after those people, NJ figures it's more "convenient" to levy new taxes on honest, god fearing patriots like myself when they're lucky I'm paying my taxes at all.

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