A tax is a payment that a government requires of individuals and organisations that have property, receive income or engage in various forms of activities. Property taxes and estate taxes are related to the property of individuals and for-profit organisations. Taxes related to income include personal and corporate taxes. Goods and services taxes, excise taxes and many other forms of taxes are related to activities in which individuals and organisations engage.
Most of these taxes are collected by government in order to raise money to cover operating costs and to pay for such goods and services as roads and highways, police and fire protection, parks, national defence and educational and social services. In some instances, taxes are designed to influence and regulate personal behaviour or activities in the economy.
Many people consider filing their taxes a difficult task. The reasons range from feeling that their returns are too complicated for them to complete on their own and therefore take too much time, to concerns about the consequences of a major error. The simple solution for such people is professional tax advice: they need an expert on tax regulations to assist them in tax preparation and in developing a plan to minimise future taxes
The objective of tax planning is to legally pay the absolute minimum in taxes. This is sometimes referred to as tax avoidance and will give a person more money to spend or invest. On the other hand, tax evasion is the illegal hiding of taxable income, falsifying claims and deductions or taking similar actions to reduce tax liability. In extreme cases, tax evasion can lead to imprisonment.
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