Simplification and rationalisation of taxes
29 February 2016
While presenting the General Budget 2016-17 in Lok Sabha today, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government had already accepted many recommendations of Tax Administration Reform Committee. He further proposed to accept a number of recommendations of Justice Easwar Committee to simplify the provisions of the IT Act in Budget 2016-17.
In order to reduce multiplicity of taxes, associated cascading and to reduce cost of collection, abolition of 13 cesses levied by various ministries in which revenue collection was less than Rs50 crore in a year, was proposed.
Measures to rationalise TDS provisions for Income Tax had been proposed to improve cash flow position of small tax payers whose funds get blocked due to current TDS provisions.
Also, non-residents who do not have PAN are currently subjected to a higher rate of TDS, though an amendment to relevant provision will allow that on furnishing of alternative documents, such higher rate will not apply. The facility for revision of return hitherto available to service tax assesses only will be extended to Central Excise assesses also.
Additional options for reversal of input tax credits with respect to non-taxable services provided by banking companies and financial institutions, including NBFCs, by way of extending deposits, loans and advances are proposed in Budget 2016-17.
Government of India has taken steps to reduce the cargo release time and transaction costs of EXIM trade. Jaitley also proposed to amend the Customs Act so as to provide for deferred payment of customs duties for importers and exporters with proven track record.
Indian Customs Single Window Project would be implemented at major ports and airports starting from beginning of next financial year. Also, customs baggage for international passengers are simplified as filing of baggage declaration will be required only for those passengers who carry dutiable goods.