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Positive News - 13 August, 2020

Narendra Modi speech today, Transparent Taxation honouring the honest launch, tax reforms

Transparent Taxation: The platform which will be launched today is expected to further carry forward the journey of direct tax reforms undertaken during the last six years.

New Delhi:  In a bid to honour honest taxpayers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a platform ‘Transparent Taxation Honouring The Honest,’ a move which will strengthen efforts of reforming and simplifying our tax system, as the government looks to rebuild the pandemic-hit economy. The platform will be launched at 11 am on Thursday and will benefit several honest tax payers.

PM Modi tweeted on Wednesday, “At 11 am on Thursday, 13th August, the platform for "Transparent Taxation Honoring the Honest" would be launched. This adds strength to our efforts of reforming and simplifying our tax system. It will benefit several honest tax payers, whose hardwork powers national progress.”

"Truly, this shall mark an important step forward in providing a simple and transparent taxation regime for India,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.

The virtual event will be witnessed by various chambers of commerce, trade associations, chartered accountants' associations and "eminent" taxpayers, an official statement said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Modi will unveil the next phase of direct tax reforms aimed at easing compliance and rewarding honest taxpayers.

Know about the different tax reforms:

The platform which will be launched today is expected to further carry forward the journey of direct tax reforms undertaken during the last six years.

The statement issued on Wednesday said tax reforms include bringing more transparency in official communication through the newly introduced Document Identification Number (DIN) wherein every communication of the Department would carry a computer generated unique document identification number.

Tax reforms over the years, include reduction in corporate tax last year to 22 per cent from 30 per cent for existing companies and 15 per cent for new manufacturing units, scraping of dividend distribution tax and faceless assessment.

The Budget for 2020-21 fiscal unveiled on February 1, had announced a 'taxpayer charter', which is expected to have statutory status and will empower citizens by ensuring time-bound services by the Income Tax department. The charter will ensure trust between a taxpayer and the administration and reduce harassment, as well as increase efficiency of the department, Sitharman had said in her Budget speech.

To increase the ease of compliance for taxpayers, the I-T Department has moved forward with the pre-filling of income tax returns to make compliance more convenient for individual taxpayers.

Compliance norms for startups have also been simplified.

To expedite the resolution of pending tax disputes, the Direct Tax 'Vivad se Vishwas' scheme was brought to settle disputes.

Also, monetary thresholds for filing of departmental appeals has been raised to reduce litigation.

To facilitate better taxpayer services, CBDT has lowered the percentage of I-T returns picked up for scrutiny.

Income Tax returns (ITRs) picked up for scrutiny has reduced to 0.25 per cent of the total ITRs filed in Assessment Year (AY) 2018-19, from 0.55 per cent in AY 2017-18. The number was 0.71 per cent in AY 2015-16 and 0.40 per cent in AY 2016-17.

Taking forward the faceless assessment process, the Budget also proposed to bring about "faceless appeal".

The minister said the government is concentrating on village, agricultural and tribal sectors for providing employment opportunities there. He emphasized that it is the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector which will drive the Indian economy in the coming years.

He said that investment in infra and insurance sectors has been opened up, as there are huge opportunities in insurance, pension and share economies.