Importance of taxes: Why should we pay tax to the government

Posted on February 3, 2012. Filed under: Indian Taxes |

All citizens of a country are morally and legally bound to pay their fair share of tax. In this article I will cover the importance of paying taxes to the government and why we should not do the mistake of hiding money or avoiding taxes. A large percentage of people who pay tax think as if government is trying to steal their hard earned money .. well thats not true. Money collected from taxes help a country to become stronger and help government provide a variety of services to its citizens.

Example of some services that government provides with our tax money:

1. Infrastructure Projects: Government needs money to build roads, bridges, dams and number of other projects which are available to the society as a whole.

2. Public Security: Money collected from taxes is used to provide police and fire departments. It also helps to fund money needed to maintain defense forces (army, navy and air-force) and buy arms for them.

3. General services: Keeping roads clean, water treatment, street lights, trash removal and maintenance of public parks requires lot of money.

4. Health Services: Almost all governments provide some level of free or subsidized health services to its citizens. This may include preventive immunization shots, disaster relief and many others. All this money is funded by the tax money you and I pay.

5. The list goes on: Maintenance of historic monuments, government aid, emergency relief, conduct elections, run several government institutions like department for agriculture, commerce, energy, urban development, treasury, judiciary, department of motor vehicles etc.

Types of taxes:
Government can impose taxes in many forms, for example: Income tax, Sales tax, Excise tax, Toll Tax, Recreation tax, social security, medicare etc ..

Does everyone has to pay tax?
It depends on country to country, but in most cases people with very low income do not have to pay tax.

Does everyone pay same tax?
Usually people with higher income pay a higher percentage of tax than the people with lower income.

Why should I still have to pay tax?
Think about this, if we only paid for the services we need then there is no way we could afford it. For example if you wanted to go from City A to City B, can you afford to pay for the construction of road that connects those two cities.. NO. You open tap and clean water flows out of it, if we were to put a filtration system on our own and a pipe that connects all the way to the nearby reservoir, it will cost just too much. Therefore we pay for these services in form of tax and use them as a whole society.

The result of not paying taxes could result in penalty and prison time. So next time when the time comes to pay taxes, do not feel too bad. It is your contribution to the services you receive in return.  


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