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How to educate citizens about taxes they pay?

April 27, 2017 | by: Dalio Sijah

How are taxes collected? How are they distributed and consumed within the budget? How is budget drawn? How many types of taxes exist? How are taxes being spent? These are all questions that people often do not know the answers, and the authorities rarely offer them. Many interesting online tools are created around the world that would increase transparency and that would make collection and expenditure of tax more open and understandable.

That’s the reason why Center for Policy and Management together with the Association of Citizens “Why not” recently introduced internet platform – online tax calculator, which will be presented at POINT 6.0 conference in the framework of the panel discussion, entitled “How to educate citizens about the taxes they pay?”.

Platform was developed in cooperation with the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, who created the original concept of tax calculators, and one of the participants of this panel discussion is their president Žilvinas Šilėnas.

Žilvinas has a 10-year experience in research, policy analysis and advocacy. He has led numerous research projects, authored and co-authored numerous studies, policy papers, position notes, and legislative proposal packages. His fields of expertise include taxation, business regulation, social policy, energy, and general macro-economic policy.

Platform, in a simple and interesting way, allows citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to establish how many different expenses are they paying for taxes, contributions, etc. on a monthly and annual basis, and how these expenditures are spent on different things in framework of budgetary and extra-budgetary funds. is an educational online tool, that makes it easy to calculate the total tax that are being paid on annual basis, based on labor and consumption, which includes the calculation of the contributions paid, value added tax, excise duties on fuel and luxury products. Platform will be introduced by Adis Muhović, executive director of the CPU.

This panel discussion will be hosted by Marko Rakar, Director of the Croatian Association “Windmill”, which is the concept of a tax calculator developed in 2011. App which was named budget calculator gave citizens option of creating their own version of the state budget for next year. Through the accompanying explanations citizens could find out what effect a reduction or increase in some budget items would have. Platform has recorded great success, and five days after its release, almost 100,000 version of the state budget were received.

Marko has his long experience in working with the media successfully combined with new technologies. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of the organization, the Internet, new media and politics. He ran or participated in many campaigns for organizations, parties and independent candidates in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Europe, Asia and the US. His specialties are social media, open government and transparency of data.