Listen, I have made the greatest invention after fire. I discovered the single most important flaw of our country’s financial governance.
The other day I was struggling with my tax sheet, that obnoxious exercise you and I are made to undergo ever after birth. I found out that the whole tone of our tax policy is negative and designed to make each one of us a liar. Small wonder, we are still a ‘developing’ country 65 years after independence.
I am sure, MG, our FoN, would have torn away the declaration of investment form if one were to be given to him to fill up! In every column, he is asked to cook up.
First, let us begin at the beginning. If I am single, I am penalised, If I don’t take a home loan and try to build a thatch with my savings, I get screwed (don’t I know it’s mandatory to be a debtor?). If I eat out and help hotels, I am to be VATed heavily.
If I remained healthy and did not claim medical, well, I am doomed. Who asked you to be healthy, man? barks a testy FM. If am not a physically handicapped, again, it’s my fault. I don’t get relief under that head either (there is no mention of tax relief for idiots; does one get a relief?). And, didn’t I take education loan for myself or my children? Damn, who can save you?
Now, let us come to the generosity of the FM, the Taxman.
We are to insure ourselves against death and accidents. Then you get relief. This is because we are constantly under threat of getting clobbered in a dark alley or run over on our mad roads. And, we’re to be a captive of the mother of all rackets, the provident fund (We are not to be trusted with our own money, you know). You need to fight an epic battle to get it out of PF as it acts as a black-hole where light is sucked in, not given out. The PF has an offspring worse than the parent— family pension fund, meant to take care of you after 58. Blast me if you ever get a response at 68.
Want more relief, FM asks? Be a patriot and invest in infra bond. In other words, you put your money and get it locked up for 6 years on a simple interest. Some scheme!
Now, insult to injury. After they deduct everything (TDS), you are asked to file the returns! You take away my money and ask me to account for it? Audacity!
What should be done?
The trouble with our tax laws is that it is all negative, not meant to encourage but to discourage. It could all be turned around to positive thus
1) Let the small family (1-2 kids) be given incentive in education/ job
2) Let the healthy be rewarded rather than punished
3) Let those taking care of their aged parents be given tax relaxation
4) Let those helping the downtrodden be given tax relief to the extent of help
4) Let the singles be rewarded as we are procreating like crazy
5) Let the highest tax payer be honoured rather than despised as dirty rich
Tailend: A colleague of mine, who is married with two kids, has never ever bothered to undertake the tax exercise in his 15 years of professional life. What he did was to leave it all to the accountant and get his Form 16 done by a CA firm. He knows nothing of the tax rigmarole. His gains? He’s healthy, as he does not burn his heart; spends his time for worthwhile matters rather than collecting false medical bills; spends no time scanning papers for new tax laws. Time thus saved, he uses for something we should all do; make a little money on the sly, not accounted for, and away from the baleful eye of the IT dept (Contact this writer for more intimate details).
The writer works for Postnoon.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.