Skip to main content

Tax Filing & enabling infrastructure

Part of consumer compliance is about ‘enablement’. Businesses that don’t get the importance of an enabling infrastructure are those left wondering why consumers aren't ‘biting’. If you track consumption decision making, you’ll see the act of buying is hastened if the required conveniences are in place. In fact, this is one arena where e-commerce companies score over their ‘brick and mortar’ counterparts. Keeping other factors at par, the convenience e-commerce provides is quite the ‘enabler’ to buying. For the consumer, it’s simply an act of a few clicks. Imagine that! Now compare straining your fingertips to brick and mortar buying, and you’ll see the hassles are far too many when it comes to the latter. You've got to make the list, navigate traffic, drive to the store, find parking, pay for it, wade through the store to get to your stuff, pack your trolley, bill it at a queued counter, haul it back to your vehicle, drive back home, and so on. The hassles are endless.

This scenario is similar to mandatory compliances too. Many times citizens hold back on compliance not because they don’t want to, it’s because they are unable to, given the poor 'enablement' infrastructure.  Take tax payments for example. Most citizens procrastinate on paying taxes like property tax only because of the hassles that accompany its payment. I was reminded of this speaking to a colleague of mine the other day, who was mentioning how difficult it was to get to his panchayat office to pay property tax. In addition to the access problem, the fact that officials at the panchayat office only spoke the local language made it extremely difficult for my colleague to get his tax work done. Of course, come local governments have made attempts to tap electronic platforms to aid citizens in tax payments, yet problems still remain.

Income tax payment possibly is one arena, especially for the salaried classes, where tax payment and filing has almost become a ‘one click’ act. With the tax payment being done at the employer level, citizens are focused on the filing part. This is where it’s gotten real simple and easy for them. Today, not only can you have income tax e-filing done, you can even do it free of charge. E-commerce portals like  H&R Block lead the way in enabling citizens to file their taxes sans any hassles, and for free! Such an 'enablement' to paying taxes goes a long way in speeding up the actual act of tax payments while ensuring government coffers swell.

It is important for marketers and even the government to realise that to get consumer patronage and citizen compliance they have to go beyond just putting products and mandatory requirements in place, but also work towards building enabling infrastructure that can hasten the act of buying and paying respectively.  


Popular posts from this blog

Situational Involvement of Consumers

There are two types of involvement that consumers have with products and services, Situational and Enduring. Situational involvement as the term suggests, occurs only in specificsituations whereas Enduring involvement is continuous and is more permanent in nature.

Decisions to buy umbrellas in India are driven by the onset of Indian monsoon. Monsoon rains arrived in India over the South Andaman Sea on May 10 and over the Kerala coast on May 28, three days ahead of schedule. But then, after a few days of rain, South India is witnessing a spate of dry weather. Temperatures are soaring in the north of India. The Umbrella companies in the state of Kerala are wishing for the skies to open up. So is the farming community and manufacturers of rural consumer products whose product sales depend totally on the farming community. The Met. department has deemed this dry spell as 'not unusual'.

India's monsoon rains have been static over the southern coast since last Tuesday because of a…

Prior Hypothesis Bias

Prior Hypothesis bias refers to the fact that decision makers who have strong prior beliefs about the relationship between two variables tend to make decisions on the basis of those beliefs, even when presented with the evidence that their beliefs are wrong. Moreover, they tend to use and seek information that is consistent with their prior beliefs, while ignoring information that contradicts these beliefs.

From a strategic perspective, a CEO who has a strong prior belief that a certain strategy makes sense might continue to pursue that strategy, despite evidence that it is inappropriate or failing.

Ref : Strategic Management : An Integrated Approach, 6e, Charles W L Hill, Gareth R Jones

Wearing Cuba means Walking Cuba

There's something ethereal about wearing 'Cuba'. Suddenly its the streets of Havana, smoke filled and lit by the groovin', more than the lights. The bars are packed to hilt and dreamy women seem to glide by. The feeling's beyond magical.

How did I get there?

Before I explain, I gotta tell you about the power of brands to take you places. Brands bring with them an ability to prompt you to conjure up the unreal. They can transform your reality into fantasy. And consumers are more than willing partners to brands as the drudgery they face in everyday life begs an injection of fantasy. Brands that operate in a zone of the unreal do the conjuring act as there's nothing else that consumers can call for, while making judgements. For instance, what should I be judging the lip paint on? Its colour and tone or its ability to turn me into a diva?

Cuba's a perfume. The moment I wear it, I am traipsing the streets of Havana. Its smoke filled bars I see. Its music I hear and…