Friday, July 29, 2016

The Benefits of Filing your Tax Returns

A few days ago I happened to do a post on why the Danes were the happiest people in the world. I was amused to discover that the people in Denmark were fond of paying taxes and did their best to pay it on time. Since most financial transactions in Denmark happen through plastic money, cheating on taxes is difficult. Danes consider paying taxes as a sacred duty and in a country where air-surveillance is employed to make sure that everyone gives their dues, to pilfer is a tough task. In countries like Denmark, citizens focus on paying taxes and getting as much as they can, back from the government, in the form of paid maternity leaves etc. The government of Denmark is doing its best to provide the best of facilities to its citizens by judiciously investing the money in the development of the country. 

Coming to our part of the planet.
In India, everyone considers paying taxes a moral and social obligation, but very few go down that road and make sure that they give their dues. While most people are aware of the requirement of filing taxes, many more are still unaware of the implications of not filing returns on time.

The last date for filing returns is 31st July for the financial year ending on 31st March. The government has made it mandatory for all citizens to file returns whether they belong to the taxable bracket of income or not. Filing returns has made it easier for firms and individuals to enter transactions that are in the knowledge of the IT department.

My friend had always nurtured the dream of going abroad for the future seems to be grim in India for research students like us with the slashing of research funds by the government and the sub-standard research facilities in the laboratories of the country. She filed the papers for permanent residence for Canada recently along with me when her visa agent told her that for applying for VISA she needs to show her income tax returns. Since she was getting a meager stipend until now she was not punctually filing her returns. Her agent's words came as a shocker and she decided to start filing her returns immediately, but her dad gave her a pleasant surprise when he told her that he had filed her tax returns in the past. Her dad came as a messiah saving her from the hassles of paying her old returns, as she realized the importance of dutifully paying her dues to the government.