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3 reasons why paying that ‘dreadful’ black tax will benefit you in future

By Winnie Mabel November 14th, 2023 2 min read

Aside from job loss, there is nothing salaried people dread more than paying black tax. Black tax is the financial support extended family expect to be given because they are facing economic challenges. Especially common among Africans, many salaried people often receive financial requests for things at times when they had not budgeted for.

Educating an uncle’s last born, paying emergency medical bills for the middle child or some sick cow your mother’s house manager’s family depends on, helping out with rent for a distant cousin’s first born, sending transport fare for relatives to go to interviews, housing a relative who won’t give a timeline of their activities – the reasons are endless and tend to come at the most inopportune time. Just when you managed to scrape and save money you marked for investment or self improvement.

While widely dreaded, and sometimes causes family issues, paying black tax can be beneficial to salaried people, no matter the amount they manage to send. How you ask?

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First, it shows that you believe in family and seeing everyone prosper to levels they can sustain themselves. It is human to want the best for everyone and in helping them, you form a community around you that will stand by you when you face challenges too.

In this instance, you end up creating space for yourself where you will feel you belong unlike in many families where those who are financially well off tend to be favored over others. The little you ‘pay’ in black tax will bring you the family you deserve, whether close or distant.

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Secondly, you honor your family by addressing their financial challenges. Have you seen families where among siblings there are those that are faring well in life but for others, their families are struggling to get by? If you use your money to educate a relative’s child or even help a family meet its daily needs, this can contribute to ending the cycle of poverty that follows certain bloodlines.

You sense of equity will help more than the one person you are sending the money to- you might even be paving the path for a future professor with the little Sh100 you send to pay for a child’s school meals for the week. Don’t consider it charity, consider it generational support.

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Thirdly, you are building your safety net, believe it or not. When you support others in their time of need, you can rest assured you may depend on them when you need assistance too be it in raising medical funds for a sibling or a grandmother or even looking for connections to land a new job.

So while we may dread paying black tax, it may help- as salaried individuals- to think about having a small budget set aside to help family when the need arises. It is, however, important to note that it is not a must to go into debt to pay this tax. You help where you can, and you help where the reasons are genuine.

Don’t fall for these fake emergencies for family looking for money to go for enjoyment of life at others’ expense even when they are fully capable of funding their own lives, but are misers.