Recently I talked with one businessman.
He told me an interesting thing.
– Personally, – he says, – I am ready to pay all taxes to the state. Moreover, they are relatively low. But under one condition: if taxes pay absolutely everything. I say this not even from some considerations of patriotism and civic duty. I am driven by selfish interest. If I pay all taxes, and my nearest competitors will not, then they have the opportunity to reduce the sales value of their goods by exactly the amount of this tax itself. And then consumers will buy his goods, but not mine. And I will go bankrupt. And I cannot afford this. I have a family, children, and workforce.
– And what are you doing?
– And what do I have to do? I do not pay taxes either.
First, I understate the invoice at the customs. Due to this, I reduce the customs duty. Then, I do not take all the goods through the cash register. Part of the proceeds is a “black” cash. I also pay part of my salary in an envelope. Because of this, I spend less on social payments, pension and income tax from natural persons.
That’s the difference in the percentage of 15-20. And this is even more than my trade margin of 10 percent.
– But you cannot live like this,- I say. – Because of this, we have poor state, poor people, hospitals, not enough schools, roads are broken.
– You cannot hear me,- he replies. – I myself want to live in a rich and civilized country. I myself hate to “breed” these auditors. But try understand me, until I am sure that all the auditors are absolutely honest with everyone: with me, and with a competitor, that they will not let anyone get away from taxes, it is more profitable for me to pay them and hide from taxes.
Let the state do it so that not one inspector can be bribed. Then I will be happy to pay all taxes and sleep peacefully.
– But the bribe taker will not appear until there is a bribe-taker. If all entrepreneurs stop “breeding” inspectors, then corruption will disappear.
– You know what? Let’s start not with us, but with them. Let them stop taking bribes or at least stop extorting. And if you start with us, then let it be not me, but my competitor. That’s when I’m ready to be right. In the meantime, I do not believe either the examiner or the competitors.
– This is a kind of vicious circle. We want to live among honest people, but we ourselves deceive ourselves. Then,where does honesty should come from?