It’s a story from the Ukrainian ctitizen.
Dreaming about Eurointegration
Original written by Vladimir Zavgorodnyy and published at site.ua; translated from Russian by J.Hawk
Listen, I can’t live like that any more.
I want to leave the country, and I’ll be thinking hard about that.
Today I was awakened by a phone call from the tax police with the words “we are expelling you from the simplified system, you owe us money since February.”
Owe money? Since February? What about these receipts at which I’m looking right now? And why are you calling me in September, five days (minus two days off) before throwing me out of the system?
“You know, we are not obligated to call you and warn you about anything.” Now this is sacred truth. They didn’t call my wife.
Here’s what happened. In February, the Zaporozhye tax service changed its accounts. They published an incorrect number on their site. Likewise in the tax code.
So my taxes went into some limbo and have been there ever since.
So I had to pay a penalty. But they didn’t call me to ask, where’s the money. Because why bother? Yes, there is an inspector, but only one, and there are many people like me.
It’s much more interesting to assess penalties.
Then I paid taxes for the next quarter. They went to pay the preceding quarter, so naturally there wasn’t enough to pay the current one, so I was assessed another penalty.
So now nobody knows how much I owe. And when I ask “how much is the penalty”–do you know what they told me?
They said “you have to calculate that manually, I’m not doing it.”
“Just a second, so how much do I need to pay?”–I ask.
“Just pay 300 hryvnia,” the lady tells me. “It should be enough. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”
I KID YOU F****** NOT, I am quoting this word for word, not making it up for comic effect.
So now they sent me yet another fine. Because I am guilty for posting the wrong account number. The correct number was at the tax office. One thousand kilometers away. Because the serfs should not go too far from the tax office. I should have come and checked. Because I am a f****** serf with a f****** residence permit.
Because the Tax Code clearly states I am responsible for…well, everything. The Tax Service is never responsible for anything. Ever. Because there’s one of me, and many of them.
Do you know how Nazi concentration camp investigation were performed? Like this:
“Did you bring prisoners to a concentration camp?” –“I brought them somewhere. I don’t know where, maybe there was a summer camp.”
“Did you bring prisoners into a gas chamber? –“No way. I took them somewhere. Where they told me. I think it was a shower room.”
“But you opened the gas spigot!” –“I really have no idea what spigot that was. They say, turn, and I turned, and I don’t know anything else.”
That’s how it was. Nobody was responsible for anything, and was not interested in anything. The Nazis were brilliant organizers.
So what’s the bottom line?
Someone published a wrong account number. Someone waited six months before f****** me over.
So I’m guilty.
I’ll pay the penalties, I’ll pay the fines. Just like that. Nobody gives a sh*t about my receipts, whether I paid anything, whether it was on time.
“Get the bank to give you a letter the money were sent to an erroneous account.” What f****** erroneous account? The account you published? “No, of course, nobody will remove the penalties.”
I feel like one of Kafka’s heroes. The hero of Metamorphosis. I feel like a cockroach who walks from office to office, glad he was not stepped on yet.
It’s been more than a year and a half since the Maidan. Hundreds of dead on the Maidan. Thousands if not tens of thousands in the East. Tens of thousands of hryvnya of my own money, which I personally spent on the Maidan and on the army.
And They. Are Continuing. To Wipe. Their Feet. On Me.
Seriously, folks, I can’t go on. I quit. I don’t understand anymore. I don’t want to live like this, always guilty and eternally without rights.
WTF was this needed? Everything that happened in the last two years: WTF WAS THIS NEEDED?
“Marina, can’t you understand, it’s simple extortion? You set me up for the penalties and fines, I’m not guilty of anything.” — “You know, I’m not going to talk with you in a tone like that. Today, September 15, all the accounts are being changed–you think I’ll call everyone?”
Well, f***, thanks for telling me.
No, seriously, I can’t go on. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to live like that any more. I’m tired. I’m 38 years old. All my best years were spent in a country that only wants to crap on me, except when it wants to get into my wallet.
When I was 23 and I finished the university, I should have left–I was young, spoke English, web designer, higher education. I didn’t leave. That was a mistake. I’ve been paying for it ever since, again and again and again, and it will never, never, never, never change.
I will never be a human being here. I will always be a sad inconvenience that’s always in someone’s way, and who is remembered only when he needs to be bent over and f***** over.
I don’t know. I don’t understand. I can’t go on. I have no more strength.
The last remnants of my faith that something will change here have been pressed into my throat, so that I could choke on them.