Union Budget 2015-16: Improves ease of doing business with tax simplification

Finance minister, Arun Jaitley in his budget speech in Lok Sabha today, announced measures to improve the ease of doing business so as to achieve 'Minimum Government and Maximum Governance'.

He sought to bring about simplification of tax procedures in the Financial Bill 2015.

The monetary limit for a case to be heard by a single member bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) is proposed to trebled from Rs5 lakh to Rs15 lakh.

The proposed amendments in the Income-tax Act provides:

  • Penalty provisions in indirect taxes to be rationalised to encourage compliance and early dispute resolution
  • Central excise/ Service tax assessees to be allowed to use digitally signed invoices and maintain record electronically
  • Wealth-tax replaced with additional surcharge of 2 per cent on super rich with a taxable income of over Rs 1 crore annually
  • Provision of indirect transfers in the Income-tax Act suitably cleaned up
  • Applicability of indirect transfer provisions to dividends paid by foreign companies to their shareholders to be addressed through a justificatory circular
  • Domestic transfer pricing threshold limit increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore

MAT rationalised for FIIs and members of an AOP:

  • Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) recommendations to be appropriately implemented during the course of the year
  • Education cess and the secondary and higher education cess to be subsumed in central excise duty
  • Specific rates of central excise duty in case of certain other commodities revised
  • Excise levy on cigarettes and the compounded levy scheme applicable to pan masala, gutkha and other tobacco products also changed
  • Excise duty on footwear with leather uppers and having retail price of more than Rs1,000 per pair reduced to 6 per cent
  • Online central excise and service tax registration to be done in two working days
  • Time limit for taking CENVAT credit on inputs and input services increased from 6 months to 1 year
  • Service-tax plus education cesses increased from 12.36 per cent to 14 per cent to facilitate transition to GST
  • Donation made to National Fund for Control to Drug Abuse (NFCDA) to be eligible for 100 per cent deduction u/s 80G of Income-tax Act
  • Seized cash can be adjusted towards assessees tax liability