Sunday, August 30, 2015

Anna's Thoughts on Income Tax

In the third week of August, I told Anna that, we had filed his income tax returns. At first he was uninterested. But, as I described the new form and the details that need to be filled in this year's new format, he showed some interest.

He then asks, "How does the government expect a person like me to file my income tax returns?"

My immediate response, with no real thought is, "Anna, they expect me to file your returns."

Really?  Could that possibly be true?  Does our IT department expect a child or guardian of an 80+ citizen to file returns on their behalf? I don't know.

I wonder how the super senior citizens of our country, many of then suffering from physical and/or mental limitations, are supposed to file their IT returns? Is there an automatic assumption that the 80+ population will have a child or guardian who will take on this responsibility and file IT returns on their behalf?  Even tho', the super senior citizen, can themselves no longer (mentally or physically) really file or validate their own returns? We need to raise these questions with our CAs (I have).

Anna goes on to say that after a certain age, or given a certain diagnosis of illness, the elderly should be exempt from filing taxes.  Or even paying taxes at all, for they have paid taxes for many years while working.

I think that his brain is working in overdrive mode!

Then Anna asks, "What happens when a person dies?"

Again, I say without thinking, "Then you are supposed to tell the IT department."

He looks at me strangely and says, "How can I tell them when I am dead!"

I laugh it off and say, "A child or guardian is expected to tell the IT Department. So I will inform them for you after you die."

Anna takes 3-4 days to absorb this conversation.  Then out of the blue, one evening he says, "Sangeeta, you are brilliant!"

Smiling, I ask "Why?"

He says, "You have filed the Income Tax Returns of 5 people!"

He is right.  About filing the IT Returns of 5 people, not the brilliant part!

Oscar Wild Sculpture, Merrion Square
Gardens, Dublin, Ireland
Then suddenly he says, "Oscar Wilde was once asked, What is the most detailed & intricate plot you have ever written?"

I wonder why he is changing the topic, and wait to hear more.

After a pause he says "Oscar Wilde responded to this question by saying My Income Tax Returns!!"

I laugh and ask, "Anna, is that true?"

Anna says, with a great deal of confidence, "Yes, of course."

I say, "Anna, no wonder Oscar Wilde was considered brilliant!!"

I come home and look up this Oscar Wilde pearl of wisdom.  I can not find any reference to this quip.

My conclusion is that it is a clever adaptation that sounds like vintage Oscar Wilde.

It is the years of reading, and the inherent Murthi humour being put to good use!!!


  1. Mr.Murthi's request has been accepted by the Government of India at least partially. Persons aged 80 years and above do not need to file their tax returns or pay any income-tax if their total taxable income for the year does not exceed Rs.5,00,000.If one takes into account the deductions which can be claimed, the exempted income would be much higher.
    Prem Mittal

    1. You are right Prem. But think my father is looking at total income being exempt :-)