13-19 May 2016 #808

Tax on kickbacks


It was completely wrong on the part of Belayati Prime Minister David Cameron to tell Queen Elizabeth on candid camera the other day that Afghanistan and Nigeria were the most “fantastically corrupt countries” in the world. He left out Nepal.

Not only was this a gross misinterpretation of facts (because Nepal is both “funtastic” and “corrupt”) but it also belittled the enormous effort we as a country and people have put into downgrading our rankings in the Transparent Index over the last decades so as to be placed at the bottom of the heap among the corruptest countries in the known universe. It is due to these efforts that Nepal was successful in overtaking Afghanistan, and the only reason the Nigerians are at the bottom of the TI rankings below us is because of match-fixing — their government officials bribed our government officials to be ranked as more corrupt. 

By leaving out Nepal in his briefing to the Queen in the presence of the Lord Chamberlain and other dignitaries at the Buckingham Palace, Cameron missed a great opportunity to highlight Nepal’s achievement as a tribute to a loyal ex-vassal state during this double centennial year of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic niceties between Great Britain and South Asia’s oldest nation state. The remnants of the British Empire meeting in London this week therefore missed an opportunity to hear from us pros how we have perfected embezzlement into an embarrassment.

Since corruption has become such a part of everyday life in the Demographic Kleptocratic Republic of Nepal, we might as well legalise it — even if it means we have to bribe someone to do it. There are many advantages to decriminalising graft, and it’s time to bite the bullet, swallow the bitter pill, take the plunge, cross the Rubicon and burn the bridge after we get to it and cross it.    

Nepal’s GDP would get a huge boost because under-the-table deals, which form such an important segment of our economy, will henceforth be legitimate transactions that will be counted in the national accounts statistics. The way it’s going to work is like this: since bribery is an economic activity that spreads the wealth around, reduces the income gap between rich and poor, and helps alleviate poverty, a Corruption Tax will be calculated on net profit and net gains from business and computations thereof will be determined by a flat pay-as-you-earn rate. In other words, the briber has to hand over to the bribee, the agreed bribe amount under the table, and proffer an on-the-spot bribe to avoid paying VAT. 

The Department for the Avoidance of Death and Tax has drawn up a list of various types of corruption levies that are applicable to citizens in the frothcoming fiscal year:

Fat Cat VAT: This is a flat rate on individual bribes great and small that will deduct 13 per cent of the  amount at source and will be added to the tax payer’s annual returns.

Panama Rebate: Nepali businessmen named in the Panama Papers can bribe the fox who guards the chicken coop at the Commission to Abuse Authority not to be investigated, and will be granted a tax rebate on the earnest money handed over under the table.

Wide-body Duty: Officials involved in kickbacks on purchase of wide bodies for the national flag-carrier will be assessed on a pro-rated basis on the extra abdominal inches added to their girth before and after the purchase. 

Oil Tax: The amount of palm grease that exchanged hands to lubricate the deal on private petroleum imports during the Blockade will be retroactively taxed, unless we get our 10 per cent.   Pre-paid Tax:** Bribes paid by ministers, ambassador **designates, corporate heads and Commissioners to get their appointments approved will be taxed according to a sliding rate based on a formula that will include income, capital gain, net worth and state-sanctioned extortion.

Kickback Tax: Since bribes are also given in kind, and to prevent these from falling through the tax net, the Dept of Taxonomy will physically dis-assemble 13% of the body weight of the chassis of an SUV given in lieu of a bribe.

Inheritance Tax: Since a lot of officials have enriched themselves during their tenure as Director General of Customs and Culture, in the unlikely event of his/her demise, the state will repossess 50% of his/her ill-gotten wealth. Sorry lads, half of Daddy’s moolah is ours.

Excise Tax: These taxes on bribes are hypothecated by keeping them very low in order to encourage corruption and contribute to growth. After all, if there was no corruption all transactions would stop and the economy would grind to a halt.

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