Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5. 89, Tuesday, October 27, 2009















Paying your taxes

One of the issues that blight us as a nation is our low tax revenues. For a country that is striving to come out of the poverty trap, revenue from taxes is an indispensable source of income that allows the government to spend on matters such as infrastructure, welfare, etc.

Unfortunately, we do not have a great tradition of paying taxes. People may be patriotic in other aspects of life, but we too often see taxes as a surplus cost on our incomes. Perhaps it is born out of the disillusionment at seeing the powers that be misuse their position and failing to properly utilise the funds at their disposal. However, it is useful to know that the benefits of taxation go both ways; it benefits the whole nation as it gives the government much-needed funds, and it also benefits the taxpayer.

“The situation is improving. Banks can now monitor the incomes of their clients and advise the government on who are eligible to pay taxes,” said Alim-Al-Rabby, Accounts and Tax Deputy Manager of The Daily Star. “This will also bring in new tax payers. Plus, for those who have a car, it is compulsory for them to pay taxes annually.”

But what are the benefits to me, the taxpayer? “One obvious benefit is that your tax payments form a portfolio of income and expenses?” explains Rabby. “For example, if ten years down the line someone asks you how you have paid for the house and car you own, you can always refer them to your Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN) which, if you have been paying taxes over that period, will carry a record of your income, thereby explaining your possible expenses.”

Personal benefits aside, paying taxes is the patriotic thing to do. A common line among tax evaders is, “Why should we pay, we will not see one cent of it.” The truth is, it's really not for us to see how much of our taxes goes where. We have a duty as citizens of our nation to give back to the economy. If that's not enough to convince doubters, there is also the personal benefit of having a watertight record of your income that will make financial dealings easier in the future.




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