"Render unto Ceasar"...up to a point?

At what point(if ever) would a person be justified in “cheating” on their taxes? I’m not asking for permission to do so or anything, haha. But hypothetically, how much is too much? At what point does it become unjust? I mean, the top taxpayers are already paying a pretty hefty amount (around 1/3 of their earnings), so how much is too much? 50%? 75%? More? When (if ever) would “render unto Ceasar” cease to apply?

Also, on a related topic, can a person morally refuse to pay taxes because we all know that some of them go to fund abortion?

Could you morally lie on your tax return, or would you have to refuse to pay and accept the legal penalty to avoid lying? Or are we just obligated to pay our taxes no matter WHAT the government does with the money (unjust wars, abortions, etc.) or just leave the country?

Just a question on the morality of the issue, and about what exactly the government is entitled to and how much of our earnings they can morally appropriate and for what purposes?

Is it ever immoral to PAY your taxes?

I believe this Homily: Render unto Caesar should adequately answer your questions.


You should not cheat on your taxes, not even a little bit. The government, and thus the tax system are not always just. But since the Lord wills us to “render unto Caesar” He will bless us for doing what we are lawfully required to do. This is a quote from the book “Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence” by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and St. Claude De La Colombiere: “You may find yourself obliged to make a payment you consider unjust…or taxes you consider excessive…If the payment can be, and is, lawfully required of you, then it is the will of God you should pay it. It is He who is asking you for the money and it is Him you are really giving it when you bow to the necessity in a spirit of submission to His will.”

No, you would never be justified in lying on a tax return form. For the wealthy, it may be a third of their earnings, but there is plenty left over to cover their needs, if not their wants. If we said that Christ’s teachings cease to apply in certain cases, then you open the door to abortion because the person doesn’t want a child or sexually abuse of children because the paedophile has those fantasies.

Taxes are used for things like healthcare for children and the elderly, education and child protection. However much tax you pay, you are never justified in avoiding paying some of it. A one-third rate for the highest earners is much lower than most countries and many well known top-earners have publically asked the US government to make them pay **more **tax for the good of the country. More tax dollars mean more money to get the economy out recession, caused by bankers (most of whom pay that one-third rate).

I have good friends who are top-rate tax payers in a Scandinavian country. They are happy to pay it and consider it their duty to do so. My friend said that she earns that amount as a result of the education she received, the healthcare that allowed her to overcome the medical condition she developed and many other government funded services. She considers it part of her debt to society.

Avoiding taxes is fraud, a criminal act. People who feel “justified” in avoiding paying some or all of their taxes, because “they’re too high”, are the same people who moan about “their taxes” being used for new prisons, education programs for prisoners or drug rehabilitation programs. When it comes to their own criminal activity, however, it’s “different”.

You cannot commit fraud to protest against abortion, two wrongs do not make a right. It would also mean that other people could do the same because taxes are spent on the military and they’re pacifists, or because they’re Christian and the President was Mormon.

If you are wealthy and live in a first world, democratic country (and you do) then God has blessed you abundantly. It would be theft to keep back money that God has given you. Remember Jesus praising the widow who gave all the money she had to the Temple, while the rich gave only what they felt they could spare.

A huge chunk of taxes are used to fund the military, so you would be keeping back money that would pay the wages of someone who is willing to die to protect you.

To commit tax fraud is to take money from children, the sick, the elderly and many other vulnerable members of society. Jesus told us the final test for entering Heaven would be a judgement of how we treated the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the immigrant, the sick and prisoners, because how we treat the lowest of those is how we treat Christ Himself. Based on that, tax fraud is stealing from Christ.

I am puzzled by the “we all know that some of them go to fund abortion” bit. I couldn’t find any evidence that the US government funds abortions. The Hyde amendment forbids it and the Hyde amendment covers the new healthcare arrangements.

I agree for the most part what your stating however; with regards to the OP’s title of this thread up to a point I would hold reservations rendering to God first and foremost.

One shouldn’t knowingly support any federal government that uses tax dollars to procure abortion or euthanasia or any serious breach of moral law that goes against laws that supercede God’s laws. When I think how some governmental taxes are levied against citizens today, it certainly wasn’t how the Forefathers of United States like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington or Thomas Jefferson envisioned taxes would be collected.
They all saw how rich bankers setting up a U.S. central bank would oppress U.S. citizens given the previous history of the British Government setting up its own central bank one-hundred years before the United States officially became a nation. The forefathers of United States knew this but were overpowered. Kinda funny how almost 240 years later citizens become passive. Being partisan when it comes to voting every four years rarely changes any moral laws whether liberals or conservatives rule the country, giving little regard towards putting Gods laws first. I see all this in my own country Canada. Maybe its an illusion due to an overwhelming Global Media, I don’t know. It seems Ceasar is winning the upper hand every four score years.

Amen.Amen and Amen! :thumbsup:

Planned Parenthood receives money from the government, no?

So if the government decided to procure 100% of our income and then used the taxes to dole out whatever housing, food, healthcare, etc. it deemed appropriate along with a small stipend as an “allowance” of sorts, we would be morally obligated to just ten over our entire paychecks?

By this rationale, the American revolutionaries were also sinning by rebelling against the crown, no?

To say I am stunned by the responses here is an understatement …

I would say this is the Church’s teaching on this matter … *** Warning*** Ann uses a little pg language …


Not to poke a stick, but what really is Caesar’s?. Remember Jesus said also to* render onto the Father what is His*…So if God is the Creator, then what truly belongs to Caesar? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll render unto Ceasar all right…

If you feel “called by God” to falsify your tax return, be sure that you also feel “called by God” to pay the financial and time (jail) penalty, if you get caught.

With regard to tax rates themselves, I tend to agree with Ray Stevens: “If ten percent is good enough for Jesus, it ought to be enough for Uncle Sam.”

Too bad they take over 50% then, isn’t it?

They do take more than 10%, but even the top rate doesn’t make 50%, if we’re just talking about income taxes.

My take on the 10% is that the feds should devolve back to the states and local communities the responsibility for the various activities, like education, that have been unconstitutionally usurped by the feds over the course of the years. Then each of the three levels of government gets take 10%, making a total of 30%. I’m not holding my breath, tho.

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