Being the avid reader that you are, you must have read what the noted constitutional lawyer, (Late) Nani Palkhivala once said…
It is my firm conviction that no nation living today or which has flourished in the past would remain honest under the giddy rules and rates of direct taxes which prevail today in India.
Our people, like any other, fall under three segments:
1. Those who would be honest however heavy the burden,
2. Those who would be dishonest however light the burden, and
3. Those (and they constitute the overwhelming majority) who are basically not dishonest but the nature of whose response to the law is conditioned by the quality of the law.
I, the aam aadmi , believe that our tax legislation in India…
- Doesn’t bother about the first class of people (the honest taxpayers)
- Is preoccupied with the second (the dishonest), and
- Completely ignores the third (honest but burdened by law).
I have been an honest taxpayer for years, but I dread it every time I need to file my taxes.
I am lost in a sea of laws and sub-laws, charges and surcharges.
Thus, I wonder if there was a way the tax regulations were made simpler for me to understand on my own rather than employ a Chartered Accountant and pay him a fee to get my taxes calculated, and then filed.
I am least bothered about what you do with my tax exemptions – whether you raise or lower them.
I am also not much bothered about any extra surcharge that you may add to my taxes in the name of ‘election-year cess’ or any such way.
I am also not worried about your budget deficit or how much extra you would have to borrow to keep your house running next year.
I am not worried about how you plan to manage inflation and interest rates, for these are anyways not under your control (despite all fake assurances you give me on these).
As you rise to present your Budget 2012-13, my only wish from you is to fix the tax regime for the next 5 years, because this is the only part that remains in your hands as the Finance Minister of this country.
I wish you make personal income tax regulations easier for the small taxpayers like me to understand and adhere to.
Whatever else you announce will anyways be opposed by the opposition parties. So I don’t expect much from you in this year’s Budget.
Just see if you can fulfil my one and only wish.
I won’t say anything if you don’t do it. But, as always, I will continue to suffer in silence.