Should minors have an income tax?

Gillian Burks, EIC

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If you have already entered the work force, then you have noticed the chunk of your paycheck that disappears each payday. While some of that goes to medicare and social security, which can easily be argued as beneficial, a large portion goes to the state and federal government.

While I have graduated into adulthood, I would still like to stake my claim with the minors for a moment. “No taxation without representation” is such a simple and historically significant idea. I began working at the age of sixteen, and have been affected by income taxes ever since my first paycheck. To have a piece of the money that I earned pulled into a system that I am not allowed to vote for was insulting and invasive. I do not write this to bash on the government or downplay its importance, only to argue for a necessary justice I thought we had accepted years ago.

The legal voting age in the United States of America is 18, which is completely understandable. I wouldn’t want freshmen voting for the president (no offense). However, seeing as minors have no voice in electing leaders, I find it entirely unfair that they are taxed just like voting citizens. Of course as a minor, you hardly ever make enough money for your taxes to not be refunded after the beginning of the year, but that does change the fact that you were taxed in the first place?

In most homes, the caretakers pay their taxes just like every other adult in the U.S., so as a minor your household is still being taxed. You still pay sales tax on everything you buy, so you are also still contributing for the services you use that are supplied by the government (roads and such). To have to pay taxes from your own hard earned money taken when you cannot be fairly represented as a tax paying citizen crosses a line.

This is definitely an oversimplification of a solution, but the point still stands. Don’t tax a minor’s income. Most minors don’t start working until they are sixteen, some fifteen, and hardly make any income as it is. That’s only two years (three at most) of nontaxable income, then you can tax away when they can represent themselves.