Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I Hate Taxes!

Who doesn't? Sheesh. Last night my wife and I had a consultation visit with our accoutant Joe. This small firm did my accounting when I was a campus ministry intern for 2 years so I know Joe real well. If you are a minister or in ministry, you know the difficulty of taxes especially with this particular occupation. So for the past two years I had to raise all of my income, which went through the campus ministry and then to me whenever I needed it. The problem was they didn't take taxes out so I was considered self-employed.

Well I had paid a ton in taxes for these past 2 years and thought I was finished paying the IRS and expected to be getting some money back since my wife and I both work and we both work in "normal" jobs. Even when Joe was figuring out our W2 he said that it looked like we might get $400 plus back. Boy, we were both pumped up about this. Then he added the ministry part from this past year. Good news! We'll get money back, right? Uh......yeah.......no.....no we have to pay over $1000 for our April 15th due date. A $1000!!! That is what I make a month!!! So Joe, Jennifer and I went over everything to make sure that was correct. Sure enough Joe was right on the money. So come April 15th the wonderful folks at the IRS will be getting a check from us for over $1000 and a pair of my dirty underwear.

On the way home, we were discussing money matters and the odd question came up: "Do monks have to pay tax?" (I thought you'd like this Terry) I told Jennifer that they didn't but she thought otherwise. It was like a Seinfeld moment.

J: "Of course monks pay taxes."
C: "No they don't. They don't have any income."
J: "But they have to work, right?"
C: "Well yeah, they work, but not like a normal job. They work in their monasteries."
J: "Do they fundraise money?"
C: "I don't know."
J.: "How do they eat?"
C: "They grow their own vegetables in a garden."
J: "How do they buy clothes?"
C: "They make them."
J: "How? With a sowing machine?"
C: "No, they make them by hand."
J: "No they don't."
C: "Yeah they do. I mean...I guess they do. I'm sure monasteries are different in different places. Why are we talking about monks anyway?"

This random conversation helped get our minds off of the enormous amount we have to pay the government this Spring. So does anyone know if monks pay taxes?