Why should I pay a flood tax?

Published: September 30, 2010

Less than 2% of Pakistan pay taxes, and it is these people who will be burdened with the flood tax.

As the flood waters start to recede and the government gears up for rehabilitation, it plans on putting the burden on the tax paying segment of the public.

It will be people like you and me who are going to pay flood tax while our friends riding around in SUVs will have a good laugh.

The government planned a one time tax that would be deducted from the taxpayers’ salary via property tax, while the 98.4 per cent of the non tax paying population will get away with more than just not paying tax.

I, for one, am not in favor of paying flood tax.

For starters, considering our track record, there is a very high probability that the tax we pay will be lost somewhere between us handing it over and it reaching the flood victims. Or it might just end up being used for another much needed fountain off the beach of Karachi – or get used for a certain monument everyone is shouting about.

Secondly, why is the government not taking action against the tax evaders? Why not broaden the tax net? Simple statements like ‘the elite are hampering the broadening of the tax net’ are just not good enough. Can the government really be so helpless that they have to run away from the all mighty tax evaders and come running after the honest tax payers?

I don’t mind giving donations in cash or kind for the flood victims, but I certainly don’t appreciate the government forcefully taking money from me while there is a whole bunch of people out there who have been getting away with not paying taxes all their lives.

Shaheryar Popalzai

Shaheryar Popalzai

A sub-editor on the web desk of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.