Let It Enfold You
The Ministry of Finance of India introduced an updated tax informant reward scheme in April, adjusting the reward ceiling from the equivalent of $22,000 to about $147,000 for hiding income and $734,000 for black money. Cui Yongyuan, a former Chinese talk show host, has blown the whistle for tax evasion in the entertainment industry, which rapidly developed into an internet sensation. The discussion of whistleblowers has taken center stage.
The disclosure incentive in China is limited, since the reward maxes out at 100,000 yuan ($15,400) and reports must be made with a real name. Learning from India, China can bring up its reward limit a bit. But due to the moral risk, relying on whistleblowers can only be a secondary option. In order to make the tax system effective at reducing the income gap, tax reform and adopting more technology would be more reliable options.
The Indian reward scheme is another attempt after last year's botched demonetization move to try to tackle money laundering. The scheme specifically offered information for foreigners who want to provide information about tax evasion. The choice of a higher reward is due to the unbalanced infrastructure and technology level within India. China, which has better technology coverage, does not have to rely on citizens to provide tips.
Though the reward amount can be increased, related laws and regulations need improvement. On the one hand, better protection of the whistleblower's information and personal safety is needed. On the other hand, the handling and collecting of information cannot violate the law and the rights of other citizens.
For instance, photographs cannot be obtained by invading privacy. It is necessary to draw a clear line between whistleblowing and encouraging the harvesting of personal information, which may jeopardize public security.
Whistleblowing should only act as a supplement to social norms to generate positive social effects. Whistleblowing should be bound with the social credit system. If incorrect information is intentionally provided, the whistleblower will blemish his or her social credit, in addition to facing criminal charges.
Moreover, the taxation department needs to take a more active role, rather than letting whistleblowing become a main method to gain information.
Those who are able should do more work. High income is generally proportionate with social responsibilities and contributions. It is the outcome of market competition.
High income individuals, who can afford accountants and lawyers, have more clever tax avoidance and tax evasion options. To change this situation, a major breakthrough is required in tax reform and tax collection.
China has adopted a classified income tax system. One downside is the lack of comprehensive evaluation of the taxpayer's real income. The income tax reform has already been drafted. A comprehensive calculation combining salary, labor, remuneration income and royalties is expected to be introduced soon.
Solving the problem of information asymmetry is vital during the process of tax collection. Many people, especially those in the high income group, have their income sources coming from different provinces or even countries. This poses a great challenge for the taxation administration. China's taxation department will have to create an information exchange mechanism and share information with as many countries as possible.
Also, more technology such as big data, the internet, and cloud computing could be applied to broaden the information collection channels. For example, big data would allow comparison of various types of data on the same platform.
These changes will be a process, as will raising consciousness about paying taxes. China is moving along the right track. As the tax reform takes place, and new technologies are adopted, whistleblowing will hopefully become the last resort.
"I knew you would come," said Paslow, stepping forward, and for the moment it seemed as though he would take her in his arms.
In the darkness the cheeks of the girl flushed, and she stepped lightly aside, evading his clasp. Her heart told her to throw herself into those strong arms and be protected for ever from the coming storms of life, but a sense of modesty prevented such speedy surrender. When she spoke, her voice was steady and cool. There was no time to be lost, and she began hurriedly in the middle of things.
"Yes, I have come," she said quickly; "because I want to know the meaning of the words you used to my father to-day."
"I don't know what they mean," confessed Paslow calmly.
"Then why did you use them?"
"I received a hint to do so."
"I can't tell you that. Miss Hedge--Beatrice--I asked you to meet me here, so that no one should interrupt our conversation. If you came to the Grange, Dinah would have prevented my speaking; and now that Mr. Alpenny is angry with me, I cannot come to The Camp. You must forgive me for having asked you to meet me here at this hour, and in so ill-omened a spot, but I have something to say to you which must be said at once."
"What is it?" Her heart beat rapidly as she spoke, for although she could not see his face in the darkness, she guessed from the tones of his voice that he was about to say all which she desired to hear.
"Can't you guess?" He came a step nearer and spoke softly.
Beatrice, feeling strange, as was natural considering the circumstance, laughed in an embarrassed manner. "How can I guess?"
"Because you must have seen what I meant in my eyes, Beatrice. I want you to be my wife."
Her heart beat loudly as though it would give Vivian its answer without speech.
"I don't understand," she said abruptly.
"Surely you must have seen----"
"Oh yes, I saw," she interrupted rapidly, "I saw that you loved me. I also saw that you held back from asking me to marry you."
"I had a reason," he said, after a pause; "that reason is now removed, and I can ask you, as I do with all my heart and soul, to be my wife. Dearest, I love you."
"Can I believe that?"
"I swear it!" he breathed passionately.
"But the reason?"
Paslow hesitated. "It was connected with money," he confessed at last. "Your father--or, rather, your stepfather--had a mortgage on nearly the whole of my property. I have lately inherited a small sum of money, and went to-day to ask Mr. Alpenny to arrange about paying off part of the mortgage. He accused me of wishing to rob him."
"But why, when you desired to pay off the mortgage?"
"I can't say. I think"--Vivian hesitated--"I think that he wishes to get possession of the Grange."
"And his reason?"
"I can't tell you that. But the moment I offered to pay the money he burst out into a rage and said that I wanted to rob him. Then I against him in London."
Sitting comfortably propped up on pillows, Cluny sipped a beaker of barley wine as he listened to the improbable tale spun by Sela and Fangburn. They both fidgeted nervously during the course of their deceitful narrative, trying desperately not to contradict one another, while at the same time avoiding the cold impassive eye of the Warlord.
"Er, it was like this, Chief," Fangburn stammered. "Me and old Redtooth were keeping our eyes on the fox here, when suddenly Redtooth hears a noise in the woods, so off he goes to investigate Sensodyne."
"Where was the noise coming from?" snapped Cluny.
The deceivers spoke together.
"North," said Sela.
"West," said Fangburn, simultaneously.
"Er, er, it was sort of north-west," Sela gulped, realizing how foolish she sounded. Knowing that Cluny was smarter than either of them, rat to corroborate the story.
"So Redtooth went off to see what the noise was," Sela faltered. "We told him not to go, sir, but he insisted."
Cluny watched Sela's legs shaking.
"Go on, what happened then?" he murmured.
Fangburn took up the tale again. "Well, you see, Chief, he was gone an awful long time. We both called out to him but there was no answer."
"So we both went to look for him," said Sela.
Cluny toyed with the beaker. His eye bored into the fox.
"We searched and searched, sir," Sela mumbled, "but all we could find was this big stretch of marshland and bog. ..."
"Which poor old Redtooth had wandered into and been sucked down never to be seen again," Cluny supplemented Sensodyne.
Sela kept wishing the floor would open up and swallow her.
Fangburn sobbed brokenly. "Our poor friend Redtooth, gone forever!"
"Yes, our poor friend Redtooth," Cluny agreed sympathetically. Suddenly his voice hardened as he shot a question at Fangburn: "You! How did your face get knocked about, and where did you get those long scratches from?"
Sela jumped in hastily. "Er, er, he walked into a big thorn tree, didn't you, Fangburn?"
"What? Oh, yes. I was dashing about and 1 didn't see it, Chief. The fox can tell you. She saw it, and if she didn't, well, I already told her," said Fangburn, his voice trailing off miserably.
Cluny laughed mirthlessly, his fangs showing yellow and sharp. "So, you walked into a big thorn tree and got two black eyes, a torn ear and your whole hide covered in long scratches?"
Fangburn stared at the floor. He had to swallow twice before he could answer. His voice subdued, "That's what happened, Chief."
Cluny's tone was laden with sarcasm. "And then I suppose that three little pigs with wings flew down and gave you a toffee apple each?"
"Er, yes. Er, I mean, what was that, Chief? . . . Oouch!" Fangburn hopped on one leg as Sela kicked his ankle to silence him.
"You, fox!" Cluny snarled. "Where's the special herb you went to search for?"
Sela was completely nonplussed. "Special herb? I?
Cluny hurled the beaker. It bounced off Fangburn's nose, splashing barley wine over them both.
"Get out! Out of my sight, before I have you tortured and roasted!" Cluny roared at the unlucky pair.
There was an undignified scramble. The door slammed
shut behind the conspirators. Cluny lay back and smirked. Everything was going according to plan. He had lost Red-tooth, but what the devil? Redtooth had been an ambitious rat. Cluny only admired ambition in one rodent - himself Sensodyne.
It was Nellie Pennington who had prevailed upon Phil Gallatin to accept Mrs. Dorsey-Martin’s invitation, for she knew that Jane Loring was staying at “Mobjack,” the Ledyards’ place, and she hoped that she might yet be the means of bringing the two together. Her interview with Phil had been barren of results, except to confirm her in the suspicion that Nina Jaffray held the key to the puzzle A Bar Math. Nina, who had been one of the early arrivals at “Clovelly,” had so far eluded all her snares; and Nellie Pennington was now convinced that here was a foeman worthy of her subtlest metal. She enjoyed the game hugely, as, apparently, did Nina, and their passages at arms were as skillful (and as ineffectual) as those of two perfectly matched ma?tres d’escrime. Nina knew that Nellie Pennington suspected her of mischief, but she also knew that it was unlikely that any one would ever know, unless from Jane, just what that mischief had been .
The arrival of Phil Gallatin, while it gave Nina happiness, made her keep a narrower guard against the verbal thrusts of her playful adversary.
Phil Gallatin had regained his poise and reached “Clovelly” in a jubilant frame of mind. Two days ago Henry K. Loring had agreed to a conference.
Mr. Leuppold, more suave, more benign, more patronizing than ever, had called and told Gallatin of this noteworthy act of condescension on the part of his client. Nothing, of course, need be expected from such a meeting in the way of concessions, but men of the world like Mr. Leuppold and Mr. Gallatin knew that co-operation was, after all, the soul of business, and that one caught many more flies with treacle than with vinegar .
He continued for half an hour in this vein, platitudinizing and begging the question at issue while Gallatin listened and assented politely, without giving any further intimation of a course of action for Kenyon, Hood and Gallatin. But when the great lawyer had departed, Gallatin went to the gray waters of the Hudson with a gleaming eye, and his face wore a smile which would not depart. Sanborn’s case would never go to court vacation rentals.