Money does not grow on a tree nor does it fall from the sky. But most of our hard earned money goes in paying taxes. America's founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, "Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes".
And high taxes certainly choke us every day. Brinda Mathur runs a PR firm. It's the start of a brand new week for her and she does not realise that she is being taxed at every step.
For her car, Brinda has already paid Rs 7,020 as the road tax to the state government. Her first stop, a petrol pump. She pays Rs 500 for her fuel but does not realise she's only getting Rs 233.6 worth of fuel. Rest of her money goes into paying taxes i.e. excise duty at Rs 14.75 and VAT of Rs 10.94 per litre adding up to more than half of her bill.
Brinda's lunch costs her Rs 500, add 13.12 percent service tax and that works out to Rs 66. Vrinda Mathur sayd, "If we go to restaurant then we pay VAT and service tax. I think we are paying just taxes." The day is still not done for Brinda as she has to shop for groceries. Two aerated drinks for Rs 152, a Packaged lemon Rs 7, toiletries Rs 250, snacks and food for Rs 650.
Again add Rs 139 towards service tax and another Rs 105 as excise duty which is passed on to the consumer by the manufacturers. All these added to to the total Rs 1050.
If you go down the income chain, indirect taxes actually form a bulk of the expenses that you make. To end her day, Vrinda goes on a quite dinner with her mother.
Where she orders soup for Rs 450, appetizer for Rs 370 and main Course for 1200. The total cost of the meal is Rs 2020. Add service tax of Rs 264, VAT of Rs 243 which brings the total cost to Rs 2527. At the end of the day, Vrinda spends Rs 4,577 out of which Rs 1,083 is gone on paying taxes. While haggling for small discounts in every purchase is priceless, for everything else there are taxes.
And therefore in the upcoming budget, all we can hope for is that the Finance Minister lifts some of the tax burden and provide relief to consumers like you and me.