To reward the honest taxpayers, PM Narendra Modi will launch a new tax scheme tomorrow, 13 August. The platform “Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest” will be launched via video-conferencing. The event will be witnessed by various Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations, Chartered Accountants’ associations, and also eminent taxpayers, apart from the officers and officials of the Income Tax Department. Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur will also present on the occasion.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has earlier emphasized on the importance honest tax-payers hold to the country’s economy and has said that the government would come out with a charter of rights for them.
PM Modi has also acknowledged the role honest taxpayers have played in financing the free food grain scheme, a major humanitarian effort in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. He had said if the government has been able to give free food grain to the needy, its credit goes to two classes of people — farmers and honest taxpayers.
The launch of this platform will further the initiatives of the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxation). In the recent years, the board has focused on many reforms in direct taxes. These reforms are focused on reducing the tax rates and simplifying the direct tax laws. For example, last year the Corporate Tax was reduced from 30% to 22% and for new manufacturing units, the rates were reduced to 15%. Dividend distribution Tax was also abolished.
The CBDT has also looked into increasing the efficiency and transparency of the IT department. This includes 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. Similarly, to increase the ease of compliance for taxpayers, the IT (Income Tax) Department has moved forward with the prefilling of income tax returns to make compliance more convenient for individual taxpayers. Compliance norms for startups have also been simplified.
“Vivad se Vishwas Act 2020”, is yet another initiative of the IT Department to provide for resolution of pending tax disputes. The IT department is committed to taking the initiatives forward and has also made efforts to ease compliances for taxpayers during the Covid times by extending statutory timeliness for filing returns as also releasing refunds expeditiously to increase liquidity in the hands of taxpayers.