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Why Should Taxation be Considered Stealing?

Updated on July 9, 2016

Imagine you are an adult person. Now imagine that every month someone will come to your door and threaten you to give him some money or he will take you by force and lock you down. This person will take this money and use it to provide you with some services, but another part he will take just to maintain himself. I could possibly be sure that you believe this is not fair and this person is stealing your money. Actually, being very strict with the definition, this person would be extorting you.

If you can agree with me that this person is extorting you, then why the government, or using a broader definition, the State (considering that taxes are permanent in every government) is also extorting you?


Many people will be heavily against this opinion (which is actually a fact, in my opinion) saying that the State needs money to maintain itself and there is no way it can get it without taxes. This is probably true. The State needs to tax people, so it will get money to provide services for the same people. Considering this, the State would have the right to take the money from you, right?


Personal Freedom

There is something called freedom. It is an extremely controversial concept that many people tried to define in history but had no complete success. We could discuss for hours, days or years and we would never come to an agreement about if anyone can be completely free. But let’s set this discussion aside and stop for a minute to think about freedom only from the taxation’s point of view. Nobody choose to be born in a country. Nobody choose to be governed. Nobody agreed to pay money in exchange from some benefits. With that in mind, shouldn’t we be able to choose not to pay any taxes and receive no service from the government? Shouldn’t paying taxes be voluntary?

Do you believe that we should be forced to pay taxes?

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Difference Between Countries

It is most likely that people from different countries will be affected very differently when reading this. Imagine you are from a country with a corrupted government and terrible social services and still have to pay extremely high taxes. You will be more inclined to agree with me because you pay too much and receive absolutely nothing in exchange.

Now, imagine you are from a real first world country like Germany, Canada, Australia, or many others. You pay your taxes. You pay a large amount of money, but at least you receive a good service. Of course, you did not choose to pay anything but at least you receive something back from your government. The chances are higher that you wouldn’t agree that paying taxes should not be mandatory.

It is Still Not Fair

Even I you are from a good country, with a good government and (now we will just make up some fairy tales utopic world here) you receive the best service possible from the money you pay. Assuming that, we would also assume that the government can manage your money much better than you can. Assuming this can be true, you should still have a choice. You should still be able to decide whatever you want to do with your money. Nobody has the right to tell you what you need and what you do not need.

Bigger Problems

If you thing deep enough, you will realize that you do not even own a home. Even if you have bought a house, it is not actually yours. If you have to pay taxes and, worst, if the government can take you out of your house if it is needed, then it is not your house. The government is actually lending you it. And poor people are more affected by this. And poor people from poor countries even more.


Right to Choose

Summing up, it doesn’t matter if the government is providing you an excellent service. It certainly would ease the situation and it would be not as problematic as it can be, but that is not the point. If you did not choose to spend your money in a certain way. If you have not signed anything. If you cannot simply stop paying taxes and stop using public services. If you cannot decide what to do with your money and you just have to give it to the government, otherwise you will be considered a criminal. If all of that is true, then being obligated to pay taxes is actually a kind of extortion.

A Not So Radical Solution

To dissolve the state and live in an anarcho-capitalist world would not please everyone. To me, a much less drastic solution would be to create a minimal State. If the State could be responsible to provide only the very basic needs, like education, healthcare and security (only security could work too), then it would be possible to feel at least a little more freedom. Taxes would naturally be a lot smaller and our power of choice would increase. But, of course, asking the owner of the power to just renounce this power is not a much practical solution. Until something new happens, we stay the same: no freedom and no choice.

What do you think is the best solution?

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    • Marcelo Faria profile image

      Marcelo Faria 15 months ago from Brazil

      Thank you for commenting. First of all, I actually do not think it is a solution. But I believe it is actually better to have to pay $1 instead of $1000. Of course, it would still be wrong and I agree with you when you say it contradicts my premise. I may have not made myself clear. Second, it is not only the government that can provide security. It is possible to get private security. In a world without State, everything would have to be private. I guess the problem is that some people could abuse their power but this happens anyway.

      I understand this is an extremely controversial topic and not everyone will agree with me.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 15 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Marcelo, your proposed solution contradicts your initial premise. If government taxation is stealing, the amount of the tax makes no difference. If it is wrong to tax you $1000, it's no less wrong to tax you $1. Theft is theft. So, the only alternative to what you call government theft is anarchy, since there can be no government services, including security services, without taxation. Take that away, and your opening example of someone threatening you if you don't give them money becomes everyday reality. The strong will rule over the weak and take what they want. That's the only alternative to taxation.