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The Importance of Paying Taxes on Time
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This article explores the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World.

Last month must have been real hectic for many of you. After all, March is the month when the financial year ends, and it’s the month of paying taxes. Nearly every one becomes busy with filing their returns and/or making investments that give tax benefits.

But should we manipulate our accounts so much that we do not pay taxes at all?

Kautilya says it is the duty of the citizen to pay taxes and that of the leaders to use the taxes for nation building:

“Those who do not pay fines and taxes take on themselves the sins of those (kings) and (kings) who do not bring about well-being and security (take on themselves the sins) of the subjects (1.13.8)

The concept of direct and indirect taxes and also fines was formally introduced and made systematic by Kautilya 2300 years ago! The income of the whole government machinery depends on taxes and fines. The money thus collected is used for a national security, maintenance and development.

Therefore, Kautilya says not paying taxes bring on the sins of their leaders and the nation. On the other hand, the kings (politicians and government officials) who misuse the money collected will get the sins of the people.

Remember these tips for tax planning always:

1. DO NOT WAIT FOR MARCH

A recent survey conducted in an organisation showed that over 70 percent employees pay the entire salary of the month of March as taxes. This is nothing but a case of postponing the essential. Plan in advance your investments and tax payments. A tax planner once said, “I invest a lakhs of rupees in the beginning of the year in April itself”

2. HAVE A TAX CONSULTANT

Lots of changes are happening in the corporate world in the filed of taxation. Even after two years of implementation of Value added tax (VAT) and Fringe benefit tax (FBT), they are still not understood by most company-owners. Have an expert tax consultant who can help you out to understand these in the beginning itself.

3. DO NOT BE AFRAID

Do not be afraid of inspections by government people. If you have paid your taxes and done your duty towards the nation, why should you be afraid of inspections or routine checks? Fear of government servants leads to corruption.

As our president APJ Abdul Kalam says, “Let us take an oath to fight corruption”. Fighting corruption will not happen by rules laid down by Anti-Corruption Bureau. It will happen only when each individual of a nation awakens to the commitment of nation-building. Being fearless is the only way to proceed.

Contributed by - Radhakrishnan Pillai


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