Complex Indian Taxation & Plight of an ordinary Indian Businessman

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It was a beautiful day and like any other day a handful of electronics shopkeepers were waiting anxiously for the customers so that they could earn their daily bread & butter which they were doing everyday since decades. Before even they could open their sales count, they were surprised to see something which looked like a notice from government. It was a brave and beautiful step from government as the notice reads that everyone in the market have to have a TIN number within next few months. This was indeed a brilliant approach from government in economic perspective. A basic idea of gathering taxes from local shopkeepers and vendors which could be used for the development of the state (Point to remember-1). I was in my office when my father called and asked me “ye email id hai kya koi tere pass” meaning – do you have any email id with you. To which I answered Yes and he handed over the phone to someone who asked my id and i simply told him, it was a CA.

Nearly 2-3 weeks after that I started getting mails from UP govt’s Commercial Taxes Dept. The mails read about application submission documents etc. I was confused because last thing I remember about TIN was something else. I thought that may be my cousin has applied for PAN under Delhi’s address citing me as a partner. I called my cousin and asked him that has he applied for TIN or VAT as well? For which he denied and told me that he haven’t received the PAN as of now so why would he move on to VAT? Anyways, after some days I received yet another mail that “your Application for registration with application no:xxxxxxxxxxx is on Hold By Officer because of affidavit of father is not submitted.” (Point to remember-2). I was more than anxious and intrigued by the fact that on the same day my cousin called me and notified me that the our application for the PAN is on hold because of some affidavit of father. I was pretty much convinced that the CA my cousin has hired has registered our small business in UP which I reconfirmed with my cousin but he denied. For the last time I made up my mind that it is ok, we are getting registered anyways.

On Feb 4 I got a mail that the TIN number has been granted followed by the TIN number issued by the UP Govt. I was more than happy, I immediately called my brother and told him about it. He advised me to call the customer care to know about it. As advised by him I called the customer care and got to know that the TIN number was actually that of my Father’s shop.

I laughed at myself and called my father to ask about the Tin number to which he affirmed. I went back home and asked him about it, he was not much happy about it. I asked the reason and he told that he is not well educated enough to understand the complex jargon and terminology of the process which will follow the TIN & registration now. He said that I cannot understand the 3 months return and the income tax way. They say either you can do it online for which he do not have a single clue about or can consult a CA which would do it for him. One thing was for sure, he was not afraid of the taxes, as a matter of fact he understands the value of it but he was afraid of the PROCESS OF SUBMISSION of the taxes. He recalled, ” itne chakkar lag gaye Tin ke liye, ab har teesre mahine bhago “. “I have circled too much for TIN, now I have to run every third month”. At that moment I forgot about the economy and thought about the plight of the ordinary businessmen and shopkeepers with the complex Indian Taxation system. More or less, there are predators like Yadav Singh (an accused of Rs.900 crores scam) sitting to churn up the taxes in their belly (Point to remember-1).

My father have been working for nearly 3 decades, he started earning when he was 15 through a sweet shop and started a electronic shop after completing his 12th more than 25 years ago. He know the essence of being true to yourself and to your business while submitting all the taxes which a normal man have to face everyday. He pay his Income tax, invest in LIC policies which are very simple in comparison to TIN process. But this sales tax procedure of submission was very complex. What a simple man do not want in his life is a series of procedures. Which are mend and bend in ways only experts can understand. Hence this TIN became his moral responsibility as a devout businessman and a responsible citizen. This TIN also became a way to a long list of formalities which he think should be done in a simple way like that of a electricity bill. What my concern actually is the fact that the process of tax collection is so damn complex that a simple businessman who do not know how to operate a smartphone will feel it like a burden. People want to pay taxes but in a simpler form. More or less like the electricity bill. This can be achieved by a proper system.

Let’s talk about the issue here :

  • A sale tax submission procedure is way too complex for a normal person, unlike electricity bill he/she have to consult a CA to understand how to submit it.
  • The formalities are way too much. During election, when a voter id card is made in days, why a simple TIN number takes weeks and sometimes months? (Point to remember-2)
  • Why the procedure is so complex? Can’t it be like a simple passport application? Simple interview (in regional language) followed by document submission.
  • How can a person who do not know what is Chrome or IE is expected to fill the TAX online.

Here are the solutions :

  • A simple system free of jargans
  • Debit card, BHIM or any other card payment will make it so easy.
  • I will discuss the solutions in the next update.

“Can’t the taxes be like electricity bills tracked by government itself?, I would submit it by pleasure” These are the words of an astound and devoted middleclass business person. Dream! But a beautiful one.

 

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