It’s time to extinguish any lingering Christmas cheer. Today’s topic is over-bearing and tyrannical tax administration.
To be more specific, we’re going to look at the extent to which taxpayers are mistreated during the process of collecting revenue.
Yes, the amount that governments steal from you also is important, but that’s a topic we’ve already discussed on many occasions.
Moreover, we’re not going to focus on the IRS. Yes, the internal revenue service is infamous for its brutal and intrusive tactics. And I’m embarrassed to note that the United States scored very poorly in a Tax Oppression Index prepared by Switzerland’s Institut Constant.
But I want to focus today on places other than Washington. And the good news (at least relatively speaking) is that some countries scored even lower than the United States. The very worst nation was Italy, and you probably won’t be surprised that Germany (the country that figured out a way to use parking meters to tax prostitutes) and France were among the jurisdictions that also ranked below America.
This story from Brittany provides a rather appropriate glimpse at what it’s like to be a taxpayer in France.
For customers at the Mamm-Kounifl concert-café in Locmiquélic, carrying drinks trays and used glasses back to the bar was a polite tradition. But for social security agency URSAFF, it was also an infringement of labour laws because customers were acting like waiters, French local newspaper Le Télégramme reported.