I used to live in Hong Kong and there you realise how simple a tax system can be. Read this article about someone from Hong Kong who finds the simplicity makes him happy.


see a slightly more erudite article on the hong kong tax system


The tax code in Hong Kong (including all the rules of procedure, appeals methods and actual law) forms only  part  of the annually published government gazette. The whole code is only 200 pages long.

A tax return in Hong Kong takes less than 9 minutes to fill out. Hong Kong has simply stripped away many of the complexities of the tax code in favor of simplicity. They treat tax-payers like adults  and guess what, Hong Kong's government always runs at a surplus, no-one worries about their taxes, people are rarely taken to court by the tax-man and there are very few cases of people trying to evade the law.


Why is this idea important?

A simple tax code means that some people (high earners like me) wind up paying more tax than they otherwise would. But the benefit in simplicity is enormous.

One of my friends was a particularly talented individual and one of the brightest people I knew. She went to study law at Oxford. She wound up being a tax lawyer. She could have been anything she wanted, a doctor, a civil liberties campaigner/lawyer who set the oppressed free, a scientist who brought great invention to our society, but her brilliant mind wound up being filled by tax codes. I can't imagine that anyone could think that this was the greatest use for her talent – and a simple tax code would prevent this from happening.

Complexity in our tax codes and in our laws in general are like leaches that slowly drains the life blood from a great country.

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