A major driving force of the country

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  • By Khin Maung Oo
  • A country needs financial strength for its survival. Without wealth or finance, it will find it difficult in operate the government’s administrative machinery. Accordingly, every nation has to depend upon its revenues and taxes. Most people assume that the government is wholly responsible for the country to become a developed nation. In fact, every citizen is responsible to contribute to nation building. In the Constitution, it is definitely prescribed that every individual is under duty to pay tax. Paying tax regularly will make the country develop.
    In Myanmar, most are not familiar with paying tax. Some try to evade paying tax, with some seeming to ignore the existence of the tax collection system. Most fail to consider that they are responsible to pay tax to the government if they earn money doing a business transaction or running a business of their own. Undutiful tax payers exceed dutiful ones. By seeing this, we can say that the culture of paying taxes has not developed yet in our country. Not only tax payers but also tax assessors are responsible to contribute towards making the national economy grow. In performing tax collection duty, it needs to distinguish duty from authority. Duty is commitment to be performed to perfection while authority is performance in accord with rules, laws or discipline. We need to take care not to abuse power and authority over ignorant people. The tax collectors should not exploit the ignorant citizens for their own personal benefits. If so, this action will be a case of misappropriation of national finances. So, it must be supervised with great care.
    In working for national development, failure to perform according to laws, rules and regulations is a hindrance for the national development process. It may be deemed a great weakness. Provided that every individual including revenue staff performs their citizen’s duties dutifully, that country will surely develop promptly. As known by all, there are a lot of debts we have to pay as well as many necessities we have to fulfill. To perform these duties earnings received from collecting taxes and revenues will be a driving force. Only if the culture of paying taxes free from corruption can be developed among the public, will people come to trust in the culture and take an active part in spreading knowledge about tax.
    In the financial year, 2016-2017, tax income collected was less than that of the financial year 2015-2016. In 14 categories, it exceeded the targeted amount, while in 7 categories it was less than the targeted amount. So, we should find ways and means to collect taxes and revenues, according to the target. Being a major driving force for national development, we should make scrutiny of tax assessments and control and supervision of tax payment. Concurrently, we should expand our tax resources and scrutinize the assessment over special commodities such as liquor, beer, cigars and cigarettes.
    Let us build a better country for our future generations by developing the culture of paying taxes free from corruption.
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