Does the Thirukkural have a word for taxes?

The only thing certain in life, other than its inevitable end, is taxes. And, if you are an Indian, the cesses, duties, fees, interest, penalties, surcharges, and anything else that the accountants and bookkeepers can come up with.

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN forwards a dummy’s guide (abridged) that offers stunning proof of how in liberalised India, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class get milked more than ever, every Budget day.


1) Q: What do you do?
So you pay: Professional tax

2) Q: What kind of business do you do?
A: Selling goods
So you pay: Sales tax

3) Q: From where do you get the goods?
A: From other state and countries
So you pay: Central sales tax, customs duty and octroi

4) Q: What do you get by selling goods?
A: Profit
So you pay: Income tax

5) Q: Where do you manufacture the goods?
A: At a factory
So you pay: Excise duty

6) Q: Do you have an office/ warehouse/ factory?
A: Yes
So you pay: Muncipal and fire tax

7) Q: Do you have a staff?
A: Yes
So you pay: Staff professional tax

8) Q: Do you do business in the millions?
A: Yes
So you pay: Turnover tax

9) Q: Do you take out over Rs 25,000 in cash from your bank?
A: Yes, to pay salariesy
So you pay: Cash handling tax

10) Q: Where are you taking your client out for lunch and dinner?
A: Restaurant
So you pay: Food and entertainment tax

11) Q: Are you going out of station for business?
A: Yes
So you pay: Fringe benefit tax

12) Q: Have you taken or given any service/s?
A: Yes
So you pay: Service tax

13) Q: How did you receive such a big amount?
A: It was a birthday gift
So you pay: Gift tax

14) Q: Do you have any wealth?
A: Yes
So you pay: Wealth tax

15) Q: Where do you go to reduce stress, for recreation and entertainment?
A: A spa, cinema or resort
So you pay: Entertainment tax

16) Q: Have you purchased a house?
A: Yes
So you pay: Stamp duty and registration fee

17) Q: How do you travel?
A: By bus
So you pay: Surcharge

18) Q: Any additional tax?
A: Yes
So you pay: Educational, additional educational and surcharge on all the central government’s taxes

19) Q: Have you ever delayed any time in paying any tax?
A: Yes
So you pay: Interest and penalty