The trouble of paying taxes

Erol Rizaov

It is much more important that you do not pay a denar of tax when you have no income, rather than pay for a good tax on the state. It can be great pleasure and true patriotism if you honestly make money. Very often greed does not allow that satisfaction.

Look at what you live in. They say that this universal message was and is the most important thing in normal countries when citizens should decide on anything, regardless of whether it is a government election, a mayor, a referendum, a clean environment, and most of all when it is necessary to pay taxes, and yes, taxes are paid in the state treasury. If the left, or right-wingers come to power, the liberals from the center, the green, the black or the white, no matter what, the citizens know how much they will pay for it, but they know what they will get for their money. Taxes are the most important thing for the functioning of the entire social order, of all the country’s legacies: army, police, parliament, government, education, science, culture, health, judiciary, communications, the most important infrastructure … and everything that is owned by the state.

What’s happening in Macedonia? Unfortunately in our country, the most important thing in the world is secondary, extremely secondary. The budget and the money of citizens are barely penetrating into the media of striking positions, only when there are abuses and certain changes, and more incidentally than as something to live and be the main generator of the development and quality of life of all citizens. It is not deliberately marginalizing of this important topic. On the contrary, after 27 years of independence, Macedonia has not cleared up the plural system with the reasons why charging and emptying the state treasury is a less important thing, which proves that the transition, the transfer from a one-party political system, from socialism to multiparty parliamentary democracy is not yet finished, the key reform efforts on which a modern European society rests are not completed.

The topics that leave room for other political and economic debates in our country are: the name of the state, the national identity, the languages ​​of the majority and the ethnic communities, the large trials in connection with the coup attempt and the violence in parliament on April 27th, and for the biggest human rights violation in the history of independent Macedonia, with the care of thousands of citizens and public figures. For falsification and rigging of election results, for the plunder of citizens, for organized crime and corruption at the top of the government, and for other misconduct arising from illegally intercepted conversations, which are hindered by judicial decency from strong centers of power located in the system’s institutions and senior state, judicial, party officials.
In such circumstances, objectively and understandably, the theme of what is living is to be less important than the one – look from what you cannot live in Macedonia. Do you know which data is most generous in the current lukewarm and fairly diluted debate on changes in the tax system: It’s not the 18 percent figure in income over 1,000 Euro per month net. It’s a terrible statistic that only two percent of citizens have incomes above 1,000 euros a month. For which democracy, for which development, for which strategy, for which economy, for which state we are talking with a completely destroyed middle class. Only two percent of citizens have over 1,000 euros monthly living quarters to live decently. After this knowledge we should stop talking about the rope in the hanged man’s house. These two percent are the happiest people in Macedonia. From this data there is one more scary and refers to 20 percent of the population of Macedonia, where about 400,000 people do not know how they will spend today, who do not have three meals a day, and who are on the verge of starvation. And the other 78 percent of the population live in limbo not to fall into those 20 percent who starve, without any chance of joining those 2 percent of the lucky ones.

And now let’s clarify what is so dramatic about the taxation of those two percent “lucky” citizens who do not starve and are not in constant stress. This is the mathematics of why there is a big storm in a glass of water: if you have net income per month of 1,000 euros, your annual net income is 12,000 euros, your gross income is 13,200 euros and the tax is 1,200 euros per year. And now that’s how it will stay. Nothing changes. But if you have a monthly net income of 1,100 euros your annual net income will be 13,200 euros, and the gross tax amount will be 13,416 euros. On those one hundred euros, more net income per month will have to be paid instead of ten as before, 18 percent tax. So the tax will increase by 216 euros per year or 18 euros per month. But when the income is four, five, ten, fifty, one hundred thousand euros per month, then the tax figures are higher. Only in Macedonia such monthly income is reported by several hundred citizens. Where most of these people get such wealth, estates and buildings? The answer is not difficult to discover, more precisely everyone knows it – it’s a mass evasion of taxes over the years, and of course it’s about big crime and corruption. Is there any chance we can be saved from this greatest evil? So far, there was not, from now on – we will see. The hopes are low.

That is why in the normal world the biggest sensitivity of the public is who will manage the state treasury, and whether it is domestic and according to the law the money is spent. Every person who has paid one denar to the budget can check how their money was spent. The entire legal system from the constitution to the legal regulations of the democratic states is aimed at controlling the financial flows, stimulating the development, efficient tax collection and rigorous control of their spending.  Any misuse and placement in the pocket of what follows for the state treasury is paid several times, and if the offense caused more serious violations of the laws, several years of imprisonment and confiscation of the property, or a mortgage over the company that committed the crime of tax evasion, are followed. Virtually the tax system is the engine of the entire social and political and economic order of the country, the most important factor of stability and development. Everything in the state is subordinate to that.

Making a fair tax system remains a permanent and complex and difficult task for every government. The reason is simple – since there are states and fees for the state treasury, for those who give it is always too much, for those who take and spend it is always too little.