Monday, 7 March 2011

I did not earn enough

to pay tax last year - or for some years before that. I am now being told that I should feel guilty about this.
The tax man likes people to pay tax. I can understand that. All that lovely money he gets helps to run the country. It pays for things I use. Right.
Apparently there are a great many other people who have not paid tax either. The difference is that they have, technically, earned enough to pay tax. They owe a collective $9.4 billion at least. That is a lot of money.
Much of this tax is apparently owed by "small business". The country runs on "small business" of course. It is "small business" which employs the most people - and those people also pay tax.
They pay a lot of tax.
Nobody likes paying tax, even when they know they are getting some essential services for it.
Part of the problem however is that our Tax Act is simply too complex. It takes up too much time. People fail to pay tax for some things and they pay too much for others. My father paid too much tax one year and it took the tax office more than three years to partly rectifiy the problem. In the meantime of course they got the interest and he did not. If it had been the other way around the tax man would have fined my father heavily.
We have the most complex tax system in the world. The Act comes in two hefty volumes. The employees at the Tax Office do not understand it. There are constant challenges to sections of the act - which clog the court system. It costs an enormous amount to administer.
It would make far more sense to simplify the Tax Act - and that could be done. Of course that might just mean that there are people who will no longer pay tax because they will be out of a job.
In the meantime, I do not feel guilty. I worked hard last year -around 60 hours each week - and that is rather harder than some employees of the Tax Office. Perhaps you would care to pay me Mr Tax Man?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh yesssssss ppppplease SIMPLIFY the b....Act. Even my accountant got something wrong last year and he is pretty damn good.