We realize the plight of taxpayers only when it comes to the season of tax declaration.
Among the ten-million strong workers in Malaysia, there are only about one million taxpayers.
And among these one million taxpayers, 80% to 90% are Chinese (Dr Mahathir once said it reached 90%).
With such a high ratio, sure enough you and I cannot escape from paying income taxes.
Moreover, as the most efficient government department, the inland revenue department has gathered lots of capable people.
Businessmen and entreprenuers may look for accountants or tax consultants to help them avoid taxes (not evade taxes); as for the working class, they are the helpless lot.
The PCB (Potongan Cukai Berjadual) tax collection scheme introduced several years ago, makes sure that every cent you earn will be partly allocated to the government before it even goes into your pocket.
Therefore, the working class is totally caught up in taxation, and not a ringgit could be spared from it.
The director-general of inland revenue department keeps advising us in a very reassuring tone not to get worried, for the extra taxes paid will be refunded to us soon.
After years of waiting, I still have yet to see my refund.
My friends have advised me to go to LHDN to claim my refund. But I give up on second thought, as going there could risk myself being taxed more.
It is therefore not surprising that Malaysia is ranked 16th worldwide in taxpayers' misery index, and could easily be in top three in the low to medium income countries sub-category.
In view of the global financial crisis, taxpayers wholeheartedly hope that the government would emulate foreign governments in reducing taxes or offering tax refunds to their citizens.
Governments from the US, Europe to East Asia have offered tax refunds to their citizens as if their taxes have not been reduced sufficiently, much to the envy of Malaysians.
The tens of billions of ringgit worth of stimulus package covers almost every area, save tax deduction, let alone tax refund.
What is the use of this stimulus package if taxpayers do not benefit a dime from it?
Taxes have not been reduced, but the number of civil servants have expanded considerably. Very soon civil servants will outnumber our taxpayers!
Being a Malaysian taxpayer is a truly miserable thing. Having said that, there are still people claiming that paying taxes is fulfilling an honourable national obligation!
--MySinchew / Asia News Network