To Report or Not to Report

In January 1994, I began as an accountant in my Father’s CPA practice. As a recent graduate from Berry College, I felt it was time to put to practice what I learned and was happy to begin a career in public accounting.

Since that time, I have worked in both public accounting, accounting for my own business and working with the public and one thing keeps surprising me every time I hear the phrase, “Do I have to report the money I made even if they didn’t send me a 1099, W-2?” The answer is yes! Usually, I get the same response, why? If they didn’t report it, why should I?

I could go into the Internal Revenue Code. By the way, do I think the IRC should be worked on or even replaced, yes, but it is what we have now so we have to work with it! Write your congressman or elect another one if you hate it so much! I could let you know that there are penalties for not reporting all of your income. There are even penalties for not reporting 1099s properly and timely (February 28 is fast approaching). My grandfather though had one saying, he was blessed to pay the taxes he owed because it meant he had the money to do it.

Did you know that last year, the IRS estimated that $250 billion dollars of taxes were lost last year to people who didn’t report. Pew Research Center reports a poll they did in 2006 that 79 percent of us believe that it is morally wrong to not reporting all income for taxes purpose. That means that 2 out of 10 of us, do not think it is wrong morally! Remember, these are the people who will come out and say that they don’t think it is wrong. Many know that polls reflect how we think, not always how they act.

Personally, I pay my taxes and am happy to do it. Now, I will attempt to deduct as much as the law allows, because that is my definition of fair share. Here is the big reason why I do it, and ask others to as well, it is because it is right.

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