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Role of culture in collecting tax revenues

Sunday, Jan 01, 2017

One of the major challenges of the tax system is a weak tax culture. It seems this is rooted in the socio-political history of the Iranian society. Authoritarian rulers and kings forced people to pay tax to achieve their personal goals which has led to tax evasion.
(SHADA: TEHRAN) -- Although taxation is within the law and tax is the main source of income for governments to provide better services to the community, unfortunately the culture of tax payment has not been institutionalized in the community yet. The tax culture means people's willingness to pay taxes and is seen as a necessity rather than as a force. Perhaps one of the reasons for the weakness of tax culture is lack of knowledge of the society about how taxes are spent. If taxpayers and people know that the money they pay as taxes to the government is spent for the prosperity of the country and providing welfare facilities for them, they will  participate in this process more willingly. In contrast, lack of attention to creating proper culture and not paying taxes on time inflict severe damages to the economy. In order to fulfill part of people's demands regarding the high level of welfare and income, development of social justice and educational services, production and employment, and high levels of insurance coverage; the government has set and implemented some plans. The ultimate goal of these plans is to make people familiar with how taxes are being spent.

By promoting tax culture, more tax resources can be accessed because the majority of the people would get familiar with tax and start paying taxes in the best way. Economic transparency and gaining the trust of the people to pay taxes will be achieved when the promotion of tax culture is carried out across the country.

Moreover, by promoting tax culture, media and cultural and educational institutions can promote the public's attitude towards taxes, motivate people to participate in city management, and describe the role of taxes in development of urban infrastructures.

By expanding trust, promoting community spirit, and taking advantage of ethical practices, we can promote a culture in the society in which people would see tax payment as a religious duty and social responsibility, and consider tax evasion as a sin, and refusal to pay taxes would be synonymous with national betrayal and violation of the rights of others.

Source: Iranian National Tax Administration website

 
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