Why One tax?
India Tax Payer has been spearheading this movement for one tax for the entire government. In order to understand why one tax, we need to first appreciate why we have something called as tax.
Tax is the means of funding Government objectives.
A short definition. But pretty appropriate. In the beginning, tax was simple and straight. Just did not require so many forms to file a tax return! Indian taxation during pre-British period was simple. One sixth of what you make goes to the government. Things were simple and easy for the poor tax payer. And there was but one single Tax to be paid.
Governments became complicated. They wanted to support some and oppose others. So they taxed all those people they were not getting along well. It could be some products that they did not want to encourage; some products they wanted to encourage. They taxed those products that affected the livelihood of people. These were all mostly positive taxes helping equality in society. Of course, there were others that were meant to discourage people whom the Governments did not like. This could be religion, location and may have many other basis; based on mere fancies of the ruler.
So slowly and steadily, the Governments in their complexity, followed the Parkinson's law of complicating things as time passes. As Einstein once said, "The hardest thing to understand in the world is the Income Tax", taxes grew so complex that you needed tax specialists to understand, implement, collect, bargain and at the end of it, litigate!
When Governments moved from monarchies and anarchies to more people friendly democracies, tax reforms were a part of the exercise. People wanted it to be simple and straight, so that even a common man can understand what he has to pay. Tax laws with minimal or no ambiguity was sought after. And therefore, every country that was interested in easing the life of its people, ushered in Unified Tax Codes and Tax Payers Bill Of Rights.
Last year, the Country of Georgia made spectacular changes in their tax structure. From a twenty two tax system, they brought it down to six taxes. Complicated tax structure is any day a problem to the Government that cares and a problem to the Citizen who wants to abide by the laws of the land. Barry Goldwater once remarked, "Income Tax created more criminals than any other single act of the Government". This is pretty true!
While Income tax and other Value added taxes or consumption based taxes spread across the country would need a number of means and methods to reduce, the same is not the case with a municipal corporation. Merging of taxes can start with the municipal corporations that have five different taxes and none of them being collected properly. They are implemented at the pleasure of the tax collector.
India Tax Payer, therefore, picked up this cause of merging taxes into one at Municipal corporation level. The biggest advantage will be: corruption will be brought down at least by 25% in tax collections and the corporation will realise its fund flow properly.
Support the cause, join India Tax Payer. http://www.indiataxpayer.org