If someone is volunteering to pay taxes, why make it difficult? #DiscouragingEntrepreneurship

I simply don’t get it.  If someone wants to voluntarily come in to register to pay taxes for some side work, why would you want to discourage them by making the process difficult?  It is just one example of where government bureaucracy adds a great deal of friction with unnecessary and cumbersome processes.

Here’s an example.  I’ve been asked to consider doing some side work outside of the work I do for my primary business (for which I’m already registered and pay taxes).  It’s a variety of odd work like some google analytics analysis, basic software and website consulting and kiteboarding instructing that will add up to maybe a few hours a month.  Being a responsible citizen I went into the office of the tax commissioner to register so I can pay some taxes if I start collecting income for these odd jobs.

So, to register as an individual who is offering services I need to provide

  • a copy of my passport or drivers license
  • a recent utility bill to verify address
  • a business plan

I understand the passport or license requirement, but the others?  Why are these necessary?

The address verification is a pointless exercise which I simply don’t understand from many fronts.  The banks love it, health insurance loves it, government too apparently.  It is so incredibly easy to fake any sort of utility bill using basic image editing software why is this even considered valid?  It is bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.

Why is a business plan necessary?  For a few hours side work it would be easy to simply not even declare the income and the tax office probably wouldn’t know any different.  Yet, when someone voluntarily comes in and says please provide a registration number so they can do their duty and voluntarily pay their taxes, the government wants to throw up requirements and make things difficult

Really.  A business plan?  I asked why this is necessary and was told that I would need to supply either that or a copy of a contract for any work I’ll be providing.  It is like being treated as guilty for evading taxes before you’ve even earned any despite voluntarily looking to pay what is due.  Why?  Wouldn’t you want to encourage honesty rather than dishonesty by making it as easy and painless as possible to be honest?

Both the OBA and the PLP talk about wanting to encourage job creation and entrepreneurship. The problem is we seem to want to talk about it, but when it comes down to it, we’re not doing much to make it any less difficult and painful to actually do it.