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Taxes Are Necessary Evil Our country experienced many obstacles ever since we became colonies of three different countries for more than three centuries. We have been a developing country after we gained our independence. It has been a long time. In fact, we had been once ahead of Vietnam, but they managed to overtake us in the race even though they suffered longer years of war. Our country, Philippines is a South-East Asian archipelago and is bestowed with various treasures and rich resources. We have a highly diversified flora and fauna, and much more, there are lots of species endemic to our country. Also, being a tropical country, our climate is good for agriculture. Philippines, because of its natural resources, should be as rich as other leading countries, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Our country is considered a developing country, and worse, our status has been like this for a very, very long time. Japan, for instance, is not an agricultural country like the Philippines, but it managed to become one of the most powerful countries in the world. Insufficient with natural resources, the Japanese used the power of their minds and bodies to break free from their handicap. Today, it is leading in advanced technology. Singapore is known to be a small country, but its nationals did not allow the size of their country determine the size of their success. Although, it is the smallest city-state that survived, and it lacks natural land forms, Singaporeans achieved a great triumph. The secret of their achievement is their discipline. Singapore is the City of Fines, wherein, one has to follow rules strictly. If only Filipinos will practice discipline the way Singaporeans do, we might as well on our way to becoming a progressive country in no time.

It may be seen there that the construction of our nation does not depend with natural resources alone. We need to apply strategic planning, use our skills and practice discipline in a consistent manner. We also need proper administration from the government. Our economy must be supervised properly. All the elements in our economy must function well, like the taxes that are collected from the citizens. Tax: like most of the words, it can have a various meaning, depending on the one who views it. We can trace that ever since the Spanish Colonization, Filipinos pay taxes. It had been a burden for them, and they think of tax-collectors as devils, and taxes as punishment. When some heroes made them realize that overpriced taxes are unnecessary and irrational, they connive with each other to bring down the Spanish regime. Today is no different. The situation right now is just like what it has been centuries ago. For most modern Filipino citizens, taxes are just used by most of the government officials for their own benefit. They think that those officials are getting richer and richer, while they are getting poorer and poorer. It is evident that most officials and other powerful countries can enjoy luxuries one after another, while the poor people cannot even afford any of those luxuries even if they work during their whole lifetime. They are not dumb. They can realize that. They started to object, just like what happened during the Colonization times. It could be pointed out that taxation was the exact reason the Filipinos united together to break free from Spain. Although the situations are not the same in degree, they are still considered parallel. However, because of the realization that taxes are just for show, Filipinos would rather throw away their money instead of paying it as tax to the government. I cannot blame them for their perception on tax collection matters. They think they are being cheated. The rich is enjoying the fruits of their hard work and nothing is left for the poor. Simply put, they simply believe that it is a burden for them: they think that they cannot get benefits from paying taxes while the rich officials become wealthier by leaps and bounds. It is evident that, that is the legacy the previous administration left. However, I believe that they should change their mindset about taxes; especially now that we have our new administration. It could be known from different news that

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is cleansing the government from corruption. He continues to fire appointees from the previous administration after the various forms of corruption were revealed. He is replacing corrupt government officials who used for themselves the budget allotted for the citizens. Also, they keep on investigating what happened to various funds allocated in different departments. More and more Filipinos are having high hopes that our government will be corruption-free in no time. We must trust our new president, and only then can we see that taxes and nation-building working side-by-side. We must bear in mind that in a clean government, taxes will be used properly. But what is the real essence of taxes? Basically, taxes are for our nation¶s well-being. It is used for the over-all development of a country. It is given to different sectors like education, research, agriculture, telecommunication, health and transportation. Obviously, without the taxes, the country will not have its own budget to allot for its citizens. And without budget, Philippines will be in more jeopardy. We could have been twenty times poorer than what we are now if that had been the case. The middle class of today would have been the people below the poverty line, and those who were below the poverty line probably perished due to severe suffering. There are two main systems of taxation levied by the government. They are the direct and indirect taxes. Examples of direct taxes are personal income taxes, company taxes, capital gain taxes, toll taxes, poll taxes gift taxes and property taxes to mention a few. Indirect taxes on the other hand include Value Added Taxes (VAT), Tariffs, and import and export duties. Income tax, a form of direct tax, is based from the financial income of persons, corporations, or other legal entities. For instance, for those who earn not over P10, 000, they will pay 5% of their income as tax. For those with income over P500, 000, they shall pay P125, 000 plus 34% of the excess over P500, 000. It is a good policy; however, we have this so-called ³tax evasion.´ It is the general term for efforts to

not pay taxes by illegal means. It is good that the government can detect some tax evaders. Most poor but responsible citizens pay taxes honestly even though they are able to make both ends meet. But some rich individuals who earn millions chose not to pay proper taxes. It is unfair for poor people because they strive to abide by the law, while those who consider themselves educated cheat the nation and society. They do not have the right to say that the government does not do its duties because they themselves evade paying the right amount of taxes. I believe in the saying, ´To whom much is given, much is expected´. Obviously, the rich individuals who circumvent paying proper taxes do not live by this saying. I must also say that the government must prove that the image set to them is wrong. The officials should do their duties, and I believe that the rest will follow. We also have the ad valorem tax or an indirect tax. As said previously, an ad valorem tax is the one where it is based on the value of a good, service, or property. People cannot avoid paying these taxes. In fact, ever since we were young, we always paid taxes of different sorts. When we bought candy or other edible stuffs, toys and school supplies, we pay taxes. When I was young, I did not care about paying taxes. Well yes, I knew that I am paying taxes because my parents told me so. I understood well enough the importance of paying my own way and carrying my own weight. Rather than complain about taxation, I actually took great pride in it. To me, it was one way that I, even as a small child could contribute to the overall success of the nation. I learned that small contributions here and there will go a long way. But I am insensitive to the ordinary people. They suffer from excessive amounts of tax placed on basic needs. I did not view it that way before because unlike them, I am not working hard for the money I spend. But now I understand better because I can see that my parents being affected by this cruel reality. Everything is so expensive. It is difficult for the impoverished, but we must all sacrifice.

Taxes must be paid and collected properly so the nation can fund the necessities of its citizens. Also, taxes are important so that the government will avoid borrowing money from other countries. Philippines have a debt $67, 620, 000, 000 and that set us as the 37th country with the highest debt among 206 nations. If taxation will be managed properly during this administration, we might alleviate the ill-fated lives of our poor citizens. Taxes of all forms are important to achieve national goals such as economic stability, equity, and economic growth. Believe it or not, taxes and nation building goes side by side. Just how important are taxes? We use it for building infrastructures. It is used for building roads, bridges, and dams. Taxes also fund public security from the police and fireman. It is also used to pay those who clean the filthy city. It keeps our streets well lighted. It may also be used as disaster funds which it really very much needed since Philippines in located on the Pacific ring of fire. Many people may protest, and sometimes the taxes are more than what is really needed, but if we depend on the police or firemen to protect our home, travel on roads, study on public high schools, or use any of the other tax supported services provided by our government, then it cannot be said that taxes are not necessary for us. Taxes help pay for what we use and what we need. I guess that is how those taxes are used is another story. We pay for these services through tax. No one is exempted. We must travel our way as a developing country to a developed one. We can achieve nothing without unity. We must all solve our problems hand-in-hand, for no man is an island. No one could change our country single-handedly. Man power is necessary to go the distance. Everyone must join, starting from the common people and to the government officials and rich people. We must manage taxes altogether. Without the taxes and the revenues exacted, there would be no roads, no schools, no bridges, no military and, most of all, no Philippines.

Taxes are necessary evil. Our nation cannot do without them. The government needs taxes to carry out many functions. Some of these include economic infrastructures ( building of roads and bridges), enforcement of law and public order, expenditures on war, protection of property, public works, and operation of government itself. Governments use taxes to fund welfare and public services like education systems, health care systems and pensions for the elderly. They are also used for public utilities expenses like energy, water and waste management. No doubt, taxation is the bloodline that keep nation alive and progressive. It is needed to move a country from a state of dependency and poverty to one of self reliance and prosperity. To achieve this, we need to ensure that every Filipino will be honest, disciplined and committed to this cause. This means Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officers will collect the right amount of taxes. This means they will have the resolve to implement the law to its full extent and not be swayed by bribery. This means the public should pay their taxes with the correct amount and at the right time and will not resort to dirty tricks for their own selfish interests. This means that the government institutions who are tasked to use the taxes collected for government functions and projects should use these for the purpose they are intended. If each and every Filipino will do the right thing, then our country will finally be able to regain its lost pride and glory.

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