Q. Some people believe they should keep all the money they have earned and should not pay tax to the state. Do you agree or disagree?
I disagree with the statement that individuals should not pay taxes to the state. The government runs the country from the taxes it collects. Taxes are collected only from those who earn above a certain minimum limit. It is our moral duty to pay taxes.
Tax money collected by the government is used to fund basic amenities, provide various services to citizens and for government administration and projects, running of jails and defense system, and many other operations. It is not wrong to say that “taxes run a country.” Thus, it is very important for a government to make people pay taxes.
Let us analyze why people do not want to pay taxes. The main reason is their dissatisfaction with government in serving them. They blame the government for things like lack of infrastructure, poverty, and unemployment, but they are not completely wrong as tax revenue is misused in some or the other way in every country. In developed countries, however, because of higher satisfaction from government’s functioning, citizens may be more willing to pay taxes. Another factor generating dissatisfaction is the tax structure itself. Often the tax system is complex and it drives people away from paying taxes. It is also felt that the tax rates are high and tax slabs are unequal. So they feel it is not unethical if one goes for tax avoidance or tax evasion.
Not paying taxes can drastically affect a country’s revenue generation, my own country, India, for that matter. But then, it is equally desired that government come up with a fair tax structure and also make people aware where the taxes are being diverted. Even lowering the tax rates can help a country increase its tax collection as it would increase compliance among the taxpayers. Tax reform should also be fast so that no public grievance or non-compliance remains for long. A proper tax system backed up with strict tax laws can produce the best results.
Summing up, I reiterate my opinion by saying that it is the duty of every citizen to pay tax and the duty of every government to use it appropriately in public interest.