SuttaCentral

Vinaya, NP18, government tax payout after ordination


#1

Kindly looking for you advice or interpretations on the following situation.

Intending to ordain in a Theravadin Monastery as of April 2020. Having still worked a short while in 2019 as a lay man, the (Dutch) government intents to make a tax payback to me as of May 2020 (2-3 weeks after ordination). Impact of a rejection of this payback is not fully clear yet, but might lead to a procedure from the government towards me, forcing making available a bank account on my name (or potential legal procedure might follow).

Having a bank account on my name and receiving a government payout there seems to me a NP18 offense. Even with the intention to afterwards relinquish that payout + close the account, also if somebody else executes this with the bank account still in my name. Any advice/interpretations if it is possible to both avoid an offense and also correctly follow the tax-procedures here (after this procedure, all is taken care off).


#2

Welcome to the forum yofib, and sadhu for you intention.

Have you fully investigated Dutch law? In Australia I believe I would be able to draw up a simple power of attorney that would allow a nominated person to operate an account, disburse the funds and then close the account. Is there anything similar in Holland?


#3

Indeed these things are a headache. One future danger is when the government gives a person money, but then decides to take it back because they shouldn’t have give it to you in the first place.

First of all, you should probably be working with the monastery you are ordaining with for guidance on the Vinaya implications. Most places understand “accepting” as something that has to happen directly (knowingly or unknowingly). Deposits to a bank account in your name would usually not be an offence unless as a monk you said to a person “deposit this there.”

But again, this is something you should be talking to your future preceptor about in terms of the Vinaya implications. On the Dutch law side, hopefully there are people here who have experience. If you have someone to do it, it might be easiest to keep an account in your name and give someone legal permission to deal with all things government and banking related. Most monasteries would not consider this an offence as long as you weren’t involved with it.

Doesn’t the NL govt also require you to pay into the health insurance programme whether you are in NL or not?


#4

+1 to this idea. If you have a supportive and dependable family member willing to help with these things, you may want to give them power of attorney before you ordain, so that their involvement is legally legit :smile:


#5

Just to support the statements above. Work with the monastery and relevant department to ensure everyone is on the same page. If necessary, appoint someone with power of attorney before you ordain.

If the worst comes to the worst, you break a Vinaya rule and make amends for it. There is no bad intention, so the fault is purely nominal.


#6

My gratitude for the responses so far. Part of my motivation for writing this post was also to start interacting and applying the Vinaya a bit more in practice, my gratitude for your time spent sharing your thoughts.

@ Gillian @ Khemarato.bhikkhu

Getting the legal OK is a good idea indeed. I found an example legal statement that I can use in case.

@Snowbird

The interpretation of ‘accepting’ does seem to be an important part of judging this as an offense or not. The next piece from BMC1 came to mind.

The K/Commentary adds the stipulation that in the taking there must be
some movement of the gold or money from one place to another. It offers no
explanation for this point, but it may refer to cases where the gold or money is
forced on a bhikkhu. (Because the presence or absence of the bhikkhu’s consent
does not enter into the definition of the act of accepting, this means that when
gold or money is forced on him, the act has been accomplished.) A typical
example where this stipulation is useful is when a bhikkhu is on alms round and
a lay donor, against the bhikkhu’s protestations, places money in his bowl. The
stipulation allows the bhikkhu simply to stand there until he gets the donor or
someone else to remove the money, and he would be absolved of an offense
under this rule.

@ Khemarato.bhikkhu @sujato
Speaking with my preceptor on this topic will indeed be a next step. Let’s see if an offense can be avoided here to start as blame-free as possible as a monastic. :wink:

This topic can be closed if needed.


#7

Without complicating matters and facilitate the procedure , open a joint account with family members without involving a PA , either one would be able to make a withdrawal and closing the account . This temporary account is for convenient sake . If you want prepare another authorization letter to empower your family members to deal with the bank . Thereafter , your family members just close the account . Although you still have an account but you are not dealing with it directly .

Regards


#8

Not absolutely necessary, but if you’ve got what you want from the thread, we could avoid papancha developing by closing it.

May all beings be well and happy. @yogib may your going forth be blessed.


closed #9