The archives stored information on every household and resident that was updated once every five years. In other words, the tax officers’ information was oftentimes out of date. Therefore, the best option was to make a personal trip to the area to survey it and grab the latest information of residents from the ministry of civil affairs. It wasn’t a case of the tax bureau not requiring the latest information. To sort through all of the information was impossible for the bureau when they were short on hands, though. Just because there was a five year time frame, that didn’t mean that they could kick back for five years. They had to continue updating information during those five years. Five years was just an appropriate time frame to update information.
Based on the information available, Irena needed to collect taxes from an ordinary household of three. It was worth noting that they were victims an unfortunate event sometime in the past. According to their documents, their parents divorced the year before. The mother and her child, who was in middle school, stayed at the property while the father left. Last year, the tax bureau received their taxes as per usual. This year, they began to delay their payment. They delayed some of it for the first quarter then didn’t pay a penny in the second quarter. The reason for their refusal to pay was not recorded in their file. It looked straightforward enough. Irena’s next step was to calculate how much they needed to pay.
Why was it tough to pass the tax officer exam? One, tax officers needed to be unyieldingly loyal and determined. Two, the calculation work was awfully complex. The empire’s tax rate was calculated according to households. Residents were split into two categories, namely permanent residents and those were there on temporary stay. The latter were those who lived at the imperial capital. They had to pay two hundred. Most factories or businesses that employed employees would pay that portion for their employees. How much that was varied from area to area.
Flow tax was calculated based off household income. A household’s total income for the previous quarter would be reduced by the absolute minimum and then multiplied by the tax rate. The resulting value was the tax they needed to pay. With that said, due to health insurance and household subsidies, an extra amount would be taken from their taxes owed. There were also funds for businesses ceasing business. Consequently, the tax they needed to pay was their owed taxes on top of those expenses. It sounded simple, but lots of people had different circumstances, thereby altering their owed taxes. Illness, unemployment and holidays all needed to be accounted for and recalculated.
Based off the household in question’s income from last year, they needed to pay three thousand D for the last quarter. However, due to their household being a single-mother household, it was understandable that they had lower income. According to the tax rate, they needed to pay four hundred D in tax every quarter. At present, they already owed six hundred D worth of taxes.
They didn’t have any problems noted in their file. Presumably, then, they may have earned a little. Nevertheless, they still needed to pay their taxes because it was their duty as citizens. If there were no special circumstances, delaying taxes was a grave crime. Tax officers existed to stop that crime.
“All right, let’s go,” stated Irena, getting up and fixing her tax officer badge to her breast pocket. She gave him a fright when she grabbed a few forms and left.
“Wh-where are we going?”
“To the residents of this household. We need to see if they’re still living there, and collect their taxes while we’re at it!”
Irena looked as though she found her spark and meaning in life as walked out in an excited mood. Her two seniors enjoying their coffee were surprised to see the dignified Irena and Assistant Lin Chucheng, who followed along similarly to a dog, lost and confounded. The two of seniors regarded each other with a smile. The two of them passed a nightmare of an exam, and then underwent training before they could finally begin their first job. They looked forward to it when they started until they found out that it wasn’t fun and games.
After exiting the building, Lin Chucheng managed to clear some of his brain fog thanks to the smell of summer’s breeze and the faint flower scents. “What’s the issue? Do you know why they aren’t paying taxes?”
Irena shook her head and hired a carriage by the side of the street. “I don’t know. That is why we need to go there. Paying taxes is compulsory. Delaying tax payments is a serious problem. If they continue delaying it, they’ll be imprisoned.”
“It’s just a small debt…”
“Taxes don’t go to personal pockets. The entire empire relies on taxes to operate. Taxes can improve the nation and the lives of ordinary folk. We can’t damage the empire for selfish ends or to satisfy our own outlooks. Very few people understand this. That is why we have tax officers.”
Irena and Lin Chucheng squeezed into a squishy carriage. Lin Chucheng felt awkward, so he did his best to avoid touching the Princess with his leg. Irena, on the contrary, didn’t mind body contact.
Delaying taxes and debts would equate to quite the sum. Taxes used to be for punishment and as deterrence; however, it often became pressure. Just as any other duty, if the citizens couldn’t fulfil their duty, they deserved to be punished.
They could hear the coach cursing as they were forced to slow down. While Lin Dongqing forced roads at the imperial capital to be repaired, they had yet to fix the issue of people crowding on the street.
Irena placed down the form. Her excitement vanished as it did when she reached the tax bureau in the morning; replacing excitement was doubt in herself. never initiated contact with someone for tax matters.
“They owe taxes. Will I be able to collect the taxes they owe without knowing anything….? Should I prepare some more before I visit? I-I-I can’t name any advantage that I might have… Lord Lin never negotiated unless he had the upper hand. Why was I so impulsive? Can… I really do this right? Can I really complete my first job as a tax officer…?” wondered Irena.
Meanwhile, Lin Chucheng was as relaxed as could be. He was just not in the right frame of mind due to Irena’s faint scent… because he couldn’t comprehend her concerns…
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