Pajak (taxes) and palak (forces) are only distinguished by the letters J and l in Bahasa Indonesia. Only the letter K separates them on the computer keyboard. The distance is short, but the meaning is vastly different. As if life and death were separated by a breath, but in two opposite directions.

Pajak and palak are not like broken words wrapped in words, "I'd like to concentrate on the National Examination first, OK?" No way, no how. Why?

In short, pajak are a mandatory contribution for the people's welfare, whereas palak is money that is forcibly billed by "scrupulous individuals" as a way to fill their greediness and lusts.

But this is the length.

Let's discuss one by one, beginning with the concept of tax. According to Article 1 paragraph (1) of Law Number 6 of 1983 concerning General Provisions and Tax Procedures (UU KUP), as amended several times, most recently by Law Number 7 of 2021, tax is a mandatory contribution to the state owed by people, individuals, or entities that are coercive under the law, without receiving direct compensation, and are used for the state's purposes for the prosperity of the people.

We keep a few key sentences, namely: mandatory contribution to the state; coercive by law; do not get rewarded directly; and the prosperity of the people.

According to the Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), the word palak has three meanings:

gnawing has the definition: body heat (due to sweating);

suffocatingly hot heartburn; angry; feel hate; annoyed

very brave; reckless

then forcing (memalak) has the definition:

troublesome; bother

ask forcibly; squeeze

Palak, according to the definitions of these two words, has more to do with taxes. Let us continue this discussion by looking at the words tax and forcing. In this context, we consider forcing to be synonymous with force.

Let us now compare the two definitions. Taxes have the definition of being coercive and coercive, one of which means asking forcibly. Both involve some form of coercion. The distinction is in the word used in the tax definition based on the law.

In other words, tax is an official levy, whereas forces are merely a forced contribution with no restrictions. Is this to say that taxes are no different than forces, only legalized by the government?

Returning to the key sentence of the tax definition, there is a sentence not being directly rewarded, which means people receive a response after depositing taxes. This means that the tax and palak are the same; both receive a "reply" after paying. Is that correct?

The closing sentence on the definition of tax, which is used for the purposes of the state for the greatest prosperity of the people, answered the two doubts. This is in contrast to the formal definition of annoying. Taxes thrive, but force is a nuisance. Where is the evidence?

Please get out of the house, look at the paved roads or hospital buildings, observe the children on their way to school, and consider where the funds for the Covid-19 vaccine will come from. The money earned goes into the pockets of "scrupulous" people who have nowhere else to go, whereas the tax money goes into the state treasury and is spent for the greatest good of the people.

The Ministry of Finance through the Directorate General of Taxes is only responsible for collecting tax money and depositing it directly into the state treasury. Article 10 paragraph (1) of the KUP Law states that taxpayers must pay or deposit the tax owed to the state treasury using a Tax Payment Letter at a place of payment regulated by or based on a Minister of Finance Regulation.

Tax collectors do not have any tax money. Unlike the money that is directly pocketed by pemalak. Billing codes are nothing new to the general public, or to taxpayers who have paid their taxes. Billing code payments can be made at the post office, perception bank, or other institutions designated by the Ministry of Finance.

There has never been any evidence of taxpayers handing over money to the tax authorities. If you see something like this, please report it using the available complaint channels because all DGT services are free of charge and tax payments are directly routed to the state treasury. Fiskus only assists taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations and reminds them to pay their taxes in accordance with applicable regulations.

Tax and palak sound similar but have completely different meanings. Palak is here to cause trouble for the people, while taxes are here to help them prosper. So, it's quite different.