Pakistan Hires Transgender Workers to Shame Tax DelinquentsADAM B. ELLICK of the New York Times Blog reports financial trouble Pakistan is in since taxpayers do not file their taxes.
He states as my colleague Sabrina Tavernise reports, nationwide, fewer than a million out of 170 million Pakistanis voluntarily filed income tax returns last year. The rate is among the lowest in the world.
In a bid for a solution — and some publicity — the Clifton board borrowed a creative idea that alleviated tax woes in neighboring India were only half of the taxpayers in the wealthy area paid their taxes It hired a team of transgendered tax collectors to go door to door to embarrass the rich until they pay.
Transgendered people, known as TGs in Pakistan, carry a social stigma in the country, and their presence rattles the rich. For many of the TGs hired by the Clifton board, tax collecting is their first salaried job, and two of them still work as sex workers.
“Neighbors will come out and say, ‘Oh, what’s happening?’ and the bad name the person will get, this will maybe convince them to pay taxes,” said Aziz Suharwardy, the board’s vice president. “And that’s exactly what happens.”
The TGs have collected $100,000 in about nine months, 10 times the cost of the program. Still, the TG’s collection barely puts a dent in the board’s $5 million tax revenue shortfall.
It is a strange way to go about collecting taxes but not that there is anything wrong with that. Apparently it is effective as it costs ten times the cost of the collection program.
Source New York Times Blog