Where do our taxes go?

Panay News - - OPINION -  By Merry Glorly V. Lora, Teacher III, David Moises Me­mo­rial High School, Mam­busao, Capiz

FI­NANCE sec­re­tary Car­los G. Dominguez III on Thurs­day, July 5, 2018 in Philip­pine Daily In­quirer, un­veiled de­tails of the planned and much-awaited tax amnesty pro­gram aimed at shoring up rev­enues to fund the mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture projects to be rolled out by the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Dominguez, “this year, we hope to im­prove fur­ther our rev­enue col­lec­tions with a pro­posed tax amnesty pro­gram. The pro­gram will help clear the dock­ets as well as en­able the trans­fer of stranded real prop­er­ties so that they can be made eco­nom­i­cally use­ful.”

He f ur­ther stated that, “i n par­tic­u­lar, we pro­pose an es­tate tax amnesty where the gov­ern­ment col­lects only 6 per­cent of the net un­de­clared es­tate tax for those who died prior to Jan­uary 1, 2018.”

In short, the tax of those who live and pay is not enough, be­cause those who live and fled do not pay their tax from their much more earn­ings, thus we have to taxed those who died. If it is to fund the mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture projects, I wish to see more con­crete roads of the high­est level that is un­break­able in the next 20 years or so.

I wish to see more parks than malls to en­cour­age healthy life­style and con­vene se­nior cit­i­zens, wel­come kids and ac­com­pany the young through or­ga­nized sports and events in the park. I wish to see more us­able in­fra­struc­tures that glare the eye and scream­ing, “This is where your taxes go.”

But re­ally, where do our taxes go? There are only two cer­tain things in life--death and taxes, goes the pop­u­lar say­ing. If you re­cently spent hours fill­ing up tax forms, or are among those re­minded that you pay per­sonal in­come taxes of as much as 32 per­cent, you know that taxes are a fact of life.

The gov­ern­ment col­lects sev­eral kinds of taxes, among them, per­sonal in­come taxes, value-added tax, es­tate and donor’s tax, other per­cent­age taxes, ex­cise taxes, and doc­u­men­tary stamp taxes. It i s our per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity to know which tax we should pay, and to com­pute it cor­rectly. For­get­ting to file and pay our taxes, whether will­fully or oth­er­wise is con­sid­ered a crime.

No mat­ter how hard it may be on

your pocket, the fact re­mains that taxes serve a pur­pose and the greater good. They en­sure that we re­ceive our ba­sic needs. Taxes an­swer for all of gov­ern­ment’s ex­pen­di­tures, in­clud­ing the run­ning of those agen­cies that make it pos­si­ble for us to ac­cess ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties and ser­vices. This in­cludes wa­ter, power, roads, air­ports, and even the Metro Rail Tran­sit. So, if your city does not have metro rail tran­sit, chances are the tax in your area is not yet enough, or there are many evaders, or it is tak­ing so long for your gov­ern­ment to act, or they have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties, or worst, the tax has al­ready been cor­rupted.

Tax help keep us safe. Our taxes are used to pay for the salaries of mil­i­tary per­son­nel and po­lice­men, who keep us safe and keep peace and or­der in our coun­try. Be­cause of tax rev­enues, both the train­ing and equip­ment of se­cu­rity forces are up­graded, putting them in a bet­ter po­si­tion to de­fend us. Tax keeps busi­ness costs low. When the gov­ern­ment is able to col­lect enough taxes, it does not suf­fer a rev­enue short­fall which can oth­er­wise af­fect the coun­try’s eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals and prospects.

When our eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals are weak be­cause of low tax col­lec­tions, in­vestor con­fi­dence soft­ens, there­fore af­fect­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment and rais­ing our coun­try’s risk rat­ing. This, in turn, trans­lates to higher in­ter­est rates which can only make i t harder for us to do busi­ness in­di­vid­u­ally. ( Paid ar­ti­cle)

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