Taking a cue from the aftermath of demonetization, the Finance Minister while presenting the Union budget admitted, that the present tax burden on honest tax payers and salaried employees is unfair.
A crack down on the dishonest and the corrupt and rewarding the honest tax payers, therefore became a centre piece of the Budget which proposed a slew of measures. For example:
- If an accountant or merchant banker or registered valuer, furnished incorrect information in a report or certificate, he or she shall be liable to a penalty of Rs 10000 for every such default.
- A grant of interest in case of refund of excess payment of TDS. At the same time, to ensure timely filing of returns of income, a fee will be levied in case of delay in filing the return.
- The Government is trying to also broaden the personal income tax next and in this direction reduced the Income Tax rate from 10 to 5 per cent for small taxpayers. At the same time, it imposed a 10% surcharge on taxable income of Rs 5 million.
- Another proposal is that no person shall receive payment or aggregate of payments of an amount of Rs 3 lakh or more from a person in a day, or in respect of a single transaction, or in respect of transactions relating to one event or occasion except by an account payee cheque or account payee bank draft or use of electronic clearing system through a bank account. Contravention of this provision will invite penalty.
Says DTA Consulting’s principal Deepak Talwar “The push towards greater transparency and tax compliance if implemented well, will ultimately result in improving the economic infrastructure of the country.”
Pointing out that there is an urgent need to protect the poor and gullible investors from dubious deposit schemes, operated by unscrupulous entities, the Finance Minister said that a draft bill to curtail the menace of illicit deposit schemes has been placed in the public domain and will be introduced in parliament shortly after its finalization.
This Act will be amended in consultation with various stakeholders, as part of our ‘Clean India’ agenda, he added.