Congo tries to get politicians to pay taxes
Enough top politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo aren't paying their income taxes that the budget minister has started to collect the money at the source, rather than rely on employees to pay taxes after receiving their salaries, according to a Reuters story.
The change has raised about $1 million so far in the resource-rich but impoverished country that has seen the global economic downturn slow demand for its mineral exports of copper and cobalt.
"They just weren't paying," said Budget Minister Michel Lokola. "The government ministers we replaced, the MPs, the senators, they didn't pay."
According to the story, tax evasion is so rampant in Congo that it is seen by many as vital to their economic survival.
The convoluted tax system is used by state employees to help supplement salaries often received months late if at all. Congo is the world's worst country in which to do business, according to a World Bank report in September.
The study found that medium-sized businesses that fully complied with the demands of state agencies would pay an average of 32 different taxes, theoretically consuming around 230% of their profits.