Tax evasion

Tax evasion is theft. It is stealing from the public. Those who perpetrate it are criminals.

It is the duty and responsibility of every citizen and corporate body to cooperate and work with the Zambia Revenue Authority in order to ensure compliance.

Ultimately paying taxes is an ethical and moral responsibility. Every individual with a heart, conscience and  moral rectitude  must realize that it is an ethical responsibility to act for the greater good of society paying taxes as and when they are due.

Taxes are not a punishment they are a duty and a common call for the able to contribute towards the environment in which they operate. It should not take the tax authorities to enforce punitive measures to force compliance.

The very act  of willfully failing to pay when due is criminal and in most jurisdictions of the world attracts severe punishment.

Until 2011, death was the sentence for tax evasion in China. Qiu Xuanming a Chinese businessman  was, executed for tax evasion in 2005. He was accused together with accomplices of  evading tax in the amount of  $2 million. Qiu was among many tax evaders executed in China. His only notoriety was that members of his family discovered that some organs from his body were missing hence making his case exceptional. Otherwise during his time seven people in Guangdong Province received the sentence and many more were expected to receive the ultimate penalty as the campaign against tax evasion swept through the country.

This is how serious tax evasion is considered in other parts of the world.

It is not enough to pontificate as a paragon a virtue while stealing from the very people one pontificates to.

The balance between the economy and the ecosystem will only be maintained by the responsible conduct of all the actors who should contribute their fair dues.

It is not the small people who engage in tax evasion and tax avoidance, it is the greedy and heartless who are so engrossed in their rapine desire to accumulate that they forget their obligation to the rest of society.

The saddest part is that tax evasion is committed by people who know how to manipulate books to ensure that they mislead and confuse. If anything evasion has been so refined that accountants are specifically employed to ensure that books are doctored to cheat the taxman.

Technically tax evasion has been called as “the illegal evasion of taxes by individuals, corporations  and trusts. Tax evasion often entails taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits or gains than the amounts actually earned, or overstating deductions. One measure of the extent of tax evasion (the “tax gap”) is the amount of unreported income, which is the difference between the amount of income that should be reported to the tax authorities and the actual amount reported.”

In contrast, tax avoidance is “the legal use of tax laws to reduce one’s tax burden. Both tax evasion and avoidance can be viewed as forms of tax noncompliance as  they describe a range of activities that intend to subvert a state’s tax system, although such classification of tax avoidance is not indisputable, given that avoidance is lawful, within self-creating systems.”

The Bible teaches that those with logs in their eyes should not attempt to remove the specs in their neighbour’s eye.


Categorized | Editorial

One Response to “Tax evasion”

  1. Ninebo says:

    Richard: You have a real opportinuty to fill a gap created for objective, independent, fair and balanced media. For all the pain you’ve endured, may I strongly advise that you do not use your paper to settle scores with the post. Raise the standard and create media Zambia can be proud of. The hour has come!


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