This past year, due to graduating with my Master’s degree and moving across the country, my work and living situation was constantly changing, so my taxes were not straightforward (are they ever?) Having severe paranoia about taxes thanks to its use as a trigger word during every political campaign since I was in fifth grade, I’ve done some research on the future of taxes, for your benefit. Here are my predictions, which, FYI, are not at all supported by the IRS.
Everyone must file as their own private companies because our “data” becomes more and more public. Exactly how much money is your sad blog making? What brand does your ironic T-shirt bare? Why do you watch 30 Rock but not Parks and Rec on Netflix?
All Twitter and Tumblr followers are part of the form as special types of dependents. Turns out they really rely on those gifsets of tiny octopi and the tiny quips you make when you try Korean Barbeque for the first time.
Newly included among charity donations: Warm Fuzzies, or smiles, compliments, and a special checkbox every time you tell someone, “No, you’re wonderful! Promise!” Beware your level of Cold Pricklies – any sort of criticism of the government gets you a penalty. That, and complaining constantly will get you a demerit, because I hate that sort of thing.
Scientists find the key to immortality, changing the joke about there being two things sure in life – death is no longer one of them. Unfortunately, taxes still are, and since those scientists also do not find the key to eternal youth, Medicare taxes get much, much higher.
The key to eternal youth is found next, but it will come with a more emotional form of taxes. You get penalties for not opting for these privileges of escaping death and always looking young enough to get carded, because you give less money to the government if you’re not filing every year forever. Because of this, the mortal consider inciting a revolution, but decide to live out their days running from the IRS and living their brief lives to the fullest.
Now that everyone is immortal and eternally youthful, tax forms begin to overwhelm even the government in their bureaucracy. Computer programs audit every single citizen, which is surprisingly easy as they have records of people’s credit card purchases all the way back to the turn of the century.
Taxes become completely automated, and happen during random and meaningless times. Oh no, did you want to go to the movies today? Well, you can’t, because you just had to pay $42 in taxes, so enjoy ramen and Netflix tonight. Everyone becomes extremely cautious about money because they don’t know when it’ll suddenly disappear, but also very excited to spend it, because it’s so rare they get the chance. The levels of financial literacy skyrocket all over the country, and it is only now that The Billfold becomes obsolete (Sorry, Mike Dang!)
The new president of Earth is elected because he solves the Tax Problem once and for all – taxes make sense, are considered completely fair, and the world agrees that with eternal youth, immortality, and a reasonable tax system that everyone actually understands and agrees with, they have finally achieved utopia.
Mass revolution abound, because according to the people, a true utopia doesn’t contain taxes.
Sulagna Misra writes about the weird things that pop into her head when she's not paying attention. She's on Twitter so she can not pay attention more effectively.