Tax Help Blog
|Posted by HB Duran, EA on December 23, 2011 at 1:15 AM|
Well, Christmas is this weekend and while getting into the spirit of things, I came across a film about the life of Jesus. As he was speaking with his deciples, it dawned me that St. Matthew was a tax collector before he became an apostle. I had been taught this as a child, of course, but it never really sunk in until now that for the last decade, I had a common industry with this fellow. So I decided to do some research.
Matthew was originally a tax-gatherer, in the service of the Romans who became one of the twelve Apostles and the author of the first Gospel. He was the son of Alphaeus born at Capernaum, a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, about a year after the birth of Jesus. Matthew was employed as a tax collector from which he gained knowledge of languages such as Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew. The Roman system for collecting taxes lent itself to fraud and corruption. Wealthy people would 'bid' on the right to collect taxes in their region and anything they collected over the Roman's demands was kept as profit. Tax Collectors were considered "unclean" because they had unacceptable forms of contact with gentile people (the Romans). They were also commonly regarded to be thieves because they were often fraudulent charging extortionist amounts due to the tax collection system. Matthew 9:9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. Matthew became a disciple of Jesus spreading Christianity after the crucifixion of Jesus. His Feast Day is September 21st.
Above: "Yes, harps are tax-deductible." If you were required to file taxes in Heaven...well it wouldn't be Heaven. But if you were, this is the man to go to for accounting. Here he is depicted writing the Gospel, as inspired by an Angel of God.
The most interesting part about St. Matthew's story is how the taxes were being collected. This is exactly how current tax resolution firms operate! They bid on your business via pushy phone calls and charge you as much as they can to help the Government collect taxes. Although this is not our first function as tax help companies, at the end of the day we are helping the IRS collect what is owed to them according to your best interest.
I could not believe what I was reading. I got my start with one of the most notorious "pennies on the dollar" firms that fooled many of us into believing that we were doing the right thing, while in the same breath extorting our clients out of thousands of dollars not included in their original agreements. It was extortion mixed with just the right amount of actually doing good for our clients so you walked away feeling good about what you did, but with a bad taste in your mouth about the fees. Even then, when owning my own firm was just a day dream, I knew that I would have done things differently had I been in charge.
I'm not claiming to be a saint by any means, but I found some inspiration in the life of a man who turned away from corruption and began helping people instead through the teachings of Christ. It was an unexpected parallel and one I'm glad I found. Matthew quit tax collecting, but I am compelled to keep helping those with a talent I didn't know I had until I stumbled upon it some 11 years ago. I'm not travelling the world teaching people about Jesus, but at least I can offer some relief from modern-day tax collectors!
Saint Matthew is one who without a doubt knows what you are going through with tax collectors in the Government and private sectors. He is the patron saint of accountants, bookkeepers, bankers and of course, tax collectors. If you are having tax woes, send a shout out to Saint Matthew and he would be happy to pray for you and those involved in your case.
Let's not forget the reason for the season and Merry Christmas to you all!