We all have a story about taxes.
Maybe we were surprised by the IRS, or couldn’t pay what we owed, or got priced out of homes because we couldn’t afford the taxes.
We think about these stories when we’re checking our banking accounts or are filling out our contractor forms or get email reminders for tax season.
Regardless of the many necessary services that taxes pay for, these reminders loom and feel burdensome. And when we learn the extent to which someone such as Donald Trump took advantage of our fucked up tax codes, these reminders become all the more aggravating.
A few years ago, when I was about two years out of college, I got a notice from the IRS that I owed about $3,000. It was for a student loan that I had gotten “forgiven” through a Texas loans program; unbeknownst to me, it had become taxable income. My dad’s advice was to pay it off immediately — better to get the IRS off my back now, he said — so I borrowed $1,000 from my parents and took the rest out of my savings. I was moving out of my apartment at the time, and when it was over I had just enough to pay the movers and have a few hundred in my savings left over.
When I read the New York Times report on Trump’s taxes, I couldn’t stop thinking about my own experience. Even if this doesn’t change anything for anyone — if Trump voters don’t care that he’s an immense grifter — this still hurt for me. And so we want to hear about what this Times report brought up for you, because I know we’re not alone, and neither are you.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your accounts of any notable experiences with the IRS, or taxes generally. We’ll put some of your responses together in a blog. Anonymity is totally cool—we’ll keep you safe and we won’t share any identifying details if you don’t want us to.
I hope that at the very least, your submission can be some means of catharsis, for you and the many other people who’ve surely found themselves in similar situations.
Photo of Donald Trump via gageskidmore/Flickr; Remix by Samantha Grasso