Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thoughts: Taxation of Association Dues (ToADs)

A Taxing Society

It’s not exactly a recent event, but for those who don’t know – the BIR has decided on taxation of association dues – we’ll call it ToADs for short. Now, I don’t know if this is a response to the weakening dollar, but this income generating project (for the government) seems ridiculous at best and terrifying at worst.

In case you’ve never lived in a condominium: association dues are a pooled fund used for the maintenance of the building, including the salaries of the staff. The amount given is based on a value set by the homeowners’ association multiplied by how much space you have. In short, it’s the combined resources of several families for upkeep of their homes.

Now, I’m no lawyer but I can see how unreasonable that is because if you think about it: Homeowners earn money via salaries which are taxed (income); this money is used to pay off utilities (which will now also taxed via e-vat) and personnel, who will also be taxed (income). The BIR will acquire a slice from all ends. So why is it that the government has decided on ToADs? There is nothing earned in the collection process (no work was done), it is simply a way to handle the expenses of a large amount of people at one time. As such, this tax seems to be an expression of greed - as a child eyes another’s dinner, knowing that he has his own. I don’t know if ToADs is legal, but I know that it’s not right. A government that allows – even encourages – such a thing is reprehensible because it both discourages its people’s comfort and disparages group organization.

There are two things in this world that are constant: the first occurs only once in one’s lifetime, while the other permeates nearly all aspects of today’s existence. Is it no wonder that I find the former less disturbing than the latter?


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