Tax, for those who may not be aware, is a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied on workers’ income and businesses.
It can also be added to the cost of goods, services, and transactions as Value Added Tax. This means the government does not make money as is it loosely assumed but rather takes money from its people in order to function. That is why it is important to talk about the disservice that is paying taxes in a country led by greed and theft.
The amount of money Kenya has lost and continues to lose through theft of public funds is unimaginable. Yet, shockingly, it is considered a crime when the suffering try to figure out how to protect themselves from the thieves.
The time is now for us to see things for what they are. We need to open our eyes to the reality that our supposed representatives — elected or nominated — are representing a different kind of people. They’re clear on whose priorities they fight for and it is not that of the larger Kenyan population.
Their insatiable greed and thirst for money is no longer surprising. What’s surprising is the people’s resilience to not question the practicality of paying taxes. I, of course, understand that taxable income leaves many employees with no control so maybe for the first time, it’s upon employers to figure out how to protect employees from public thieves.
Why is it impossible to imagine various employer’s associations helping in demanding for accountability when it comes to tax usage?
What stops associations from making it a requirement that every shilling government receives is accounted for before tax remitting is done?
If government’s mandate is to truly serve people and support businesses, why then aren’t the people who pay the most in taxes not demanding for accountability and proper usage?
This may seem drastic and unrealistic but if you look at Kenya closely, you’ll realise that we’re already living in unrealistic and drastic times.
We should talk about paying tax as the exploitative act that it is. We must start speaking the language that government representatives understand; the language of money. We’ve seen how they’re united and steadfast when proposing salary increments. This is the same way we need to be united and steadfast in figuring out how to boycott taxation.
Maybe if there is a possibility of there being no salary to increase and nothing to steal, they may start acting right because the law is not going to save us.
Taxes are meant to equalise access by making everyone and not just those who have money be able to afford services but that isn’t the case. I am at a point where I want to know why there are penalties for not paying taxes while there are no penalties for stealing, wasting, misappropriating or misusing taxes. Where is the sense in laws that only subjugate people while protecting law-breakers?
The writer is a policy analyst; [email protected]