Why Taxes Tax Your Brain

Well known savant, Daniel Tammet who easily recites 22,514 numbers in order, also reminds readers in Wide Sky,  that he struggled to do simple sums in math class. If that failure to fit math methods favored in school speaks to you, you likely find yourself among those of us who are most stressed at tax time. Traditional approaches and abstract calculations did not fit Tammet’s amazing way with numbers, nor did teacher demands reflect the complexity within his own ability to “dance with numbers,”  he states. See any connections to traditional tax practices?

Interestingly, in spite of his brilliant mind, Einstein also flunked out of math in secondary school. He’d likely toss in tax stress complaints too since he described doing calculations more in images and pictures than in abstract numbers that money experts expect.

Both savants like Tammet, and geniuses like Einstein, demonstrate clearly why tax times become stress times for many of us. How so?

Complex number systems may make sense to tax guys or economy gurus who crafted them, but these strange structures rarely offer a familiar approach to those of us who think of numbers more in pictures. Or what about those of us who organize our business plans very differently from rigid demands of  narrow money market frameworks?

If tax time taxes your brain more than your business – there may be good reason in research.

Do you think tax systems should either alter their systems to include people who think differently from creators of the obscure tax system that imprisons many of us? Or should we create a tax system that simply grabs it’s revenue from purchases we make and from salaries we earn, without the complex system that holds us hostage to expensive tax experts about this time of year?

To see brains as fixed computers would be reason enough to promote traditional tax systems.  In fact it may also be cause to demand more education for those of us who fail to understand it’s intricacies and feel forced to pay dearly for those who think as its creators and advocates do. Do you?

To see vastly different intelligences at work than displayed in today’s tax system, however, or to acknowledge that people rewire their brains differently and daily,  may also show horrific flaws and an underlying crisis in current tax systems.

What do you think? More importantly, what tax system might be more brain-friendly to those who’d like to toss their ethics into the mix without paying exorbitant costs to make it happen? Interestingly after I wrote this post I read that President Obama plans to simplify the tax code for all the reasons discussed here. Now that is progress!

3 Comments

  1. Like you I am taxed by taxes. My problem is that I procrastinate because I hate the process. Then when it’s tax time I take the provervial shoe box in to the accountant with only one slip in it. Sure does not work. I’m now on the path to do better next year!

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Your Brand – Person or Product?

  2. Ellen Weber says:

    Interesting that you named the process here, Robyn, as that is the core of this post’s point! It’s a process that fails to fit many of us – and it creates a great deal of stress and much money because there is a lack of recognition of how brains work and how taxes can tax brainpower from ethical people – while shysters figure out how to cheat and use the systems they understand better than the rest of us. How dangerous that they get away with this – while ethical people lack keen approaches to see it ahead – because of obscure systems created. Nuff said!

  3. [...] tax payers, lies opportunity for a simply stated and ethical economy. Who will lead the charge to remove tax related clutter in ways that transform financial practices for honest [...]

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