It’s a Contribution not a Tax


The thing I find most galling about the current behaviour revealed from the tax haven in Panama is that the Media and General Public are in anyway surprised !

Ever since medieval times, when taxes were first introduced there has been a desire by some to avoid paying what is due.

Of course there is a huge difference e between a slightly cheeky peasant evading the grip of an oppressive landlord and the current rich elite hiding millions today in a shady offshore haven. Greed is Greed and some will always revert to this.

why are we paying tax! Yes there is a general awareness that we need to pay for public services and roads etc., but I sense that a sort of negative haze has envelopes this sort of funding. We have become very cynical about how much good is actually being achieved. This of course has not been helped by the deficit we are still meeting but there is a view that money goes into a black hole and never sees the light of day.

So here’s a thought. Why don’t we refer to tax as a contribution? More specifically it could be broken down into certain areas such as a ‘Health Contribution’ (as for example they have in Scandinavia).This I believe would start to change the mind-set of something we have to give to something we feel is worthwhile giving to.

Of course this is more than just a name change. We as individuals need to feel a greater connection to what we are achieving as a society. Therefore is it beyond the realms of possibility for Government to produce a statement explaining what is being ring-fenced and where. Maybe this could be automatically triggered by e mail once a tax return has been made. This of course is not dissimilar to what local councils are already doing in conjunction with council tax.

Of course there are legitimate ways of saving tax. The everyday financial services industry relies very heavily on such tax planning. But again these can perhaps be presented in a more positive light. For example tax relief granted on a pension contribution could be argued as a contribution rebate. This rebate applying because it is saving potential retirement planning offered by the State.

If we can start to look at tax planning this way then perhaps we will all start to value our role in society in a much healthier way and a better society makes a better life for all of us.

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