July 26, 2006

Taxing Times

Almost 27 years, and I still haven't figured out which side is left and which is right. However, that is only because I spend my time and energy on greater things. Like the British tax system. Here's how it works. Each year, they pick a number between 4000 and 5000. The only condition is that the number has to be higher than the previous year's. So last year's was 4890. This is where the fun begins.

  • Everyone in this free country is free to work freely and earn freely up to 4890 pounds a year.

  • If you earn one pound more than that, the taxman comes knocking. On an income of 4891 pounds, you pay a ten percent tax, so they take away 489.1 pounds. Had you earned one pound less, you would have 488 more pounds in your hands.

Ten percent is the lowest tax rung. If you earn much more, you pay a higher percentage. So if they keep taking away bigger chunks than they're handing out, here is what happens:

  • At 10,000 a year salary, they not only take all your money but also take away your car.

  • At 20,000 a year, they take away all the cars in your neighborhood.

  • At 50,000 a year, they allocate you to a soup kitchen van, where you can get slop twice a day.

  • At 150,000 a year, which some of our professors reportedly earn, they allow you to have marathons held to raise tax-free money to keep your body and soul together.

Prince Charles, Lakshmi Mittal, Tony Blair and all those solvent people you see in this country make 4890 a year. Either that, or HM Revenue and Customs owes me an explanation!

See how much simpler this is than left and right. It's right when nothing's left. Now the job's gone too!

Update: Umm. Apparently it does not work that way. It works the normal human being-y way. Well, it never hurts to let out the spleen I say... :P


neha vish said...

Ummm - Actually you will end up paying tax only on that one pound - not the entire amount. :)

You pay tax for any amount over the basic tax exemption. Heh!

Nor do you actually pay an absolute percentage based on how much you earn. You pay slab by slab.

Ink Spill said...

That is what I, as a respectable tenth-pass student, was expecting, but some people go ahead and do a ghaplaa ghotala and suddenly all my money is gone! poof! vanished!

looks like it's slowly coming back without me having to go in tattered clothes to claim benefits...

Swapna said...

Taxes are very very confusing. I'm with you here. :)

Handful Of Hell said...

This comment moderation is sooo urrrrrrrgggghhhh.

First you comment, then you keep coming back to see if your comment's been approved and then you keep coming back to see if your comment's been addressed....

But what did I wanna say in the first place?? Damn, I don't remember.

This comment moderation is sooo TAXING