Like most, I’m sure it is very disheartening to see your salary being reduced from what was agreed to as per your job interview or contract to what actually finds its way into your bank account net of tax. So, what exactly are we even paying for?
What is Tax Used For?
This is where the age-old debate of theory versus practicality comes into the discussion. Tax in its essence, in theory, is actually a beautiful thing as it allows the people of its country to band together to ensure the functionality of their:
- Education system and access of all people to it
- Environment ie. Keeping it clean
- Roads ie. Keeping them maintained
It is how our country of South Africa survives; it is the infrastructure we contribute to, to ensure the growth and sustainability of our beloved homeland.
In practical terms, our hospitals are understaffed and dilapidated, a great percentage of our people have still not received a basic education, our environment both land and sea is polluted due to inadequate collection of refuse, and our roads are, in some areas, so neglected that we put our cars at risk just by driving to work and back.
Why Has the Theory Not Progressed Into Reality?
Due to the history of our country, the government has taken an action to tax those who are more likely to be able to pay. This creates a problem where a top 10% of our country is trying to pay for 100% of the taxes needed to run a country, which is failing.
- Tax evasion
Secondly, there are many people evading the declaration and payment of taxes to SARS. Yes, this is illegal but SARS does not have the funds and resources to identify all these tax evasions “taxpayers” (just yet). This is unfair for all those that pay their fair share, as it allows people to take advantage of what you paid for and the more people not paying taxes, the higher the tax rate has to go for the country’s survival.
Overall, tax is still very necessary to pay and we can only hope that the playing field is levelled out in the next few years and theory becomes reality like it does in so many other countries.
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