What are taxes and how to pay them properly?
Let’s skip arguments that our state is wrong, but everything is different in Europe or [insert desired continent or country] – this is a mystery of psychology, called extroversion, and not the fault of this or that country for your problems. A good confirmation of this fact – find forums of Saudi Arabia for example – I was amazed – at high incomes of the population, they blame their state (“we have no economy, we trade with raw materials”, “they could pay more than 5000 dollars for social benefits, not enough for anything”).
The problem is not external factors but in our psychology and responsibility for ourselves and our results. In principle, a person who takes responsibility is considered mature. And this does not depend on age. A person who takes responsibility for himself and his income also takes responsibility for his expenses, including taxes.
What are taxes – let’s start with the state. I will explain in very simple terms. What is a state – let’s go back to ancient times when states were just reborn. To put it very simply, a state is when a group of people got together and organized, the inhabitants of a territory united to form a state, and to build a common infrastructure – roads, public places, and the like, everyone agreed to “pool their money”. Since everyone’s income is different, they “contribute” as a percentage of their income. This money, with which we all “chip in,” is taxes.
It is clear that the structure of taxes and the state is several times more complicated, and the territory and population are larger than the territories and populations of the ancient states. But the basic concepts are the same. Taxes are our contribution to the maintenance of organizations for all. What we pay in taxes is what we get in public goods.
Now the skeptic will say – well, let them organize everything properly, then we will pay. Or another opinion – and where do these taxes go. But the fact is that we have minimal tax collection. Where will the funding of public organizations and infrastructure come from, if everyone expects someone else to “chip in”?
What will happen if we don’t pay taxes?
Several years ago, we visited a lecture by a very successful auditing agency. This agency deals, among other things, with tax optimization. This is not tax evasion; this is minimizing expenditures “by science”.
The owner of the agency told me several stories about her major clients who had been caught by the tax inspectors. The tax inspectors would audit them and file lawsuits to get back the unpaid taxes to the state. Clients were in extreme desperation, with tears in their eyes (these were businessmen with 20 years of experience), begging to be saved, because someone had “ordered” them.
An auditing company performed an audit and found out that these businessmen had not only improperly optimized taxes – they had not paid them at all, so the auditors concluded that no one had “ordered” them. Any standard tax audit would have found such childishly naive tax avoidance.
The auditing company helped them legally optimize their tax payments and, after paying penalties for unpaid taxes, calculated the loss. The loss was measured in tens of millions of rubles – if they had paid according to the optimized scheme they would have saved all that money, because taxes if they had taken care of them immediately, could have been optimized very strongly, the amount would have been hundreds of times less.
Paying taxes, even if under an optimized scheme, is a normal way to interact with the government and support the infrastructure in which you and I live. Paying taxes is the healthy and environmentally friendly way and thinking of the rich, and the long-term rich, who understand that their monetary resources are virtually unlimited (I repeat, no one is stopping you from reducing them, it is possible). Not to pay taxes – to believe that resources are limited, not enough for all (this is usually the main brake on the way to the cherished goal), and other “charms” of poor thinking.
The choice is always yours!