Sunday, June 10, 2007

WHERE'S MY MONEY GOING?

The salaried individual today begins earning at about 21 years of age. Every such individual wants a high salary; is willing to jump jobs for higher pay. But how many know exactly how much they earn? What each component of their salary means? Can they define CTC? Do they know if they are eligible for reimbursements and leave travel allowance?

How many individuals understand income tax? The numbers, the percentages, the nitty gritty? Do they understand the reason companies insist on declaration at the beginning of the financial year versus filing for returns? Why does one have to pay professional tax? What is TDS?

I claim to understand about 50% of the whole deal. I still don't know if I'm doing the best I can to save tax, or if I'm claiming all the money I am eligible for. Every HR session on these topics is filled with ambiguity and the irritation of non-specific details. For some reason, I haven't found a website that explains to me what tax is (in dummy-level terminology), and how it works - probably no website will, because what I need is a sit-down session customized to my needs. Is the answer a professional tax planner even for middle class salaried people?

I am amazed at how happily ignorant I was a few years ago, and have let my money slip through my fingers because:
- I did not get my PF transferred when I changed jobs
- I did not declare my savings and did not file for returns (everyone said, oh IT people, it is hell to get your money back!)
- I did not best utilise the reimbursements I was eligible for

Note to self and warning to all: Before you run to the shop to buy more butter, look at the butter that's melting on the table in front of you!

10 comments:

Serendipity said...

There used to be a time when I was blissfully unaware of the butter melting. Now I am aware. And the butter is still melting. I need a new fridge!
But seriously, I get your point. When I think of all the money I needlessly lost I feel the need for an anti-depressant.

Mark Isuak said...

Abba- Money Money Money
"I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Aint it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
Thats too bad"


how true illa? all those funky packages and we end up with the tit bits...

Sandhya Ramachandran said...

he he!!!
naan work panna arambichonne, I'll come and get a crash-course from you abt all those abbreviations!
for now... BLISSFUL Ignorance beckons!!!
:D

RP said...

yeah, even me woke kinda few weeks ago... damn this taxation system. you are promised but the delivery is to IT Dept! :-(

Jayan said...

To compound the problem, our FMs change the tax rules in almost every budget.

serendipity said...

Oh how true :(
Did u get that Income Tax course btw? If so , please send me a copy :)

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