Taxes September 21, 2011

With all of the recent political discussions regarding taxation, I thought it would be appropriate to share my son’s recent first experience with sales tax. Christopher had been saving his money for over half a year to buy a certain toy, and was very excited to finally go to Radio Shack to make his big purchase. After buying some batteries myself, I stood at the register and chatted with the friendly sales clerk. Christopher came up with his toy, put it on the counter, and began counting out the money from his little Ziploc bag.

“That’ll be $21.65, buddy,” said the sales clerk.

“What?! Hold on, the sign said $19.99!” said Christopher, confused. Then he continued, the urgency and slight anger apparent in his voice: “Do you want me to go back and check, because I know that it was only $19.99. I can bring the sign up here!”

“There’s a sales tax, buddy, and that adds a little bit of extra money onto the cost of the item,” replied the sales clerk, trying to remain serious and hide the smile on his face.

“What?! But the sign said $19.99!” replied Christopher, in a slightly louder and higher voice this time.

Luckily for him, Christopher had extra money and was able to pay the sales tax. But I am not kidding when I say that he handed over that extra money with a tear in his eye, clearly jaded by the whole experience.

I know how you feel, honey. 🙂

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  • Anonymous

    Sad, isn’t it!u00a0 I remember learning about the reality of taxes as a kid, but it didn’t really sink in until I got my first paycheck from the local muffin/coffee shop.u00a0 I couldn’t believe how much money they took!u00a0 I griped about it for days.u00a0 I’m sure my libertarian Father was amused.nnHere’s hoping that all those in charge of our country realize that we have a spending problem, not a taxing problem.u00a0 All of the local middle class NJ residents are on the edge of their seat just waiting for more taxes, lower salaries, and an overall more difficult time of things in this harsh economy.u00a0

  • Jurismater

    Bless his heart! Same thing here, my oldest son was so proud of his birthday money from his loving Godmom, it allowed him to buy a toy gun that he’s been admiring for ages. He went up to pay by himself, and the sales clerk told him he needed another 56 cents, he was totally confused, and I paid it myself before he had time to ask questions. Sheltering him from the harsh reality of taxes for a little bit longer… : )

  • Mary Alice

    I think that in general it is so great for kids to buy some things with their own money, what a lesson!u00a0 My children had big ambitions for what they would get each other for their birthdays until they saw how much lego sets and stuffed animals cost — they ended up going in together on one thing.