Every Day Bible

Missing Children

missingkidsIn April 1987, seven million American children vanished without a trace. Law enforcement agencies have done their best to locate them. Hundreds of individuals have been investigated for their role in the disappearance of these children.

What happened to these kids? I’ll give you a hint: the FBI, TBI, and CIA have not been investigating their disappearance. The law enforcement agency involved? The Internal Revenue Service.

Here’s what happened. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 went into effect. Tax returns filed for that year had a new stipulation: if you claimed a person over the age of five as a dependent, you were required to include his or her Social Security number to verify them. When the tax returns started rolling in that year, the IRS noticed some strange trends. 60,000 families that claimed more than four children in 1986 claimed zero in 1987. Another 11,000 families claimed seven fewer children in ’87 than ’86! While seven million children went missing and were never found, the IRS did locate something they had been missing: an extra $2.8 billion in taxes paid in ’87!

None of us loves paying taxes. Somebody said, “Be thankful you’re not getting all the government you pay for!” We need to remember, though, that despite how we feel, we have an obligation to “be subject to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1) and to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Mark 12:17). Don’t pay more than you have to—but don’t pay any less, either.