I Though In­dia is show­ing great signs of growth and development, still there are many ar­eas which need im­prove­ment so as to win faith of the busi­nesses.

Assocham Bulletin - - TAXES -

The fis­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion is one area which needs quite an over­haul. The govern­ment has un­der­taken a con­struc­tive ap­proach, aim­ing to im­prove tax ad­min­is­tra­tion and thereby en­sur­ing bet­ter tax com­pli­ance. The rec­om­men­da­tions of the Tax Ad­min­is­tra­tion Re­form Com­mit­tee, sub­mit­ted to the Fi­nance Min­istry in 2014, tried to rein­tro­duce a fair bal­ance be­tween the rights and obli­ga­tions of tax­pay­ers. Sev­eral of these rec­om­men­da­tions, such as im­prove­ment in tax­pay­ers' ser­vice, en­hanced use of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, ex­change of in­for­ma­tion with other agen­cies, ex­pan­sion of tax base, com­pli­ance man­age­ment, etc. have ei­ther been ac­cepted or im­ple­mented to en­sure a bet­ter re­la­tion be­tween the tax­payer and the tax col­lec­tor.

Speak­ing at the 15th ASSOCHAM In­ter­na­tional Tax Con­fer­ence held on Au­gust 9, 2018, Mr. Sushil Chan­dra, Chair­man, Cen­tral Board of Di­rect Taxes (CBDT),in­formed that the In­comeTaxDepart­ment has ac­cepted 99.65 per cent of tax re­turns as it is and has picked only 0.35 per cent cases for de­tailed scru­tiny thereby show­cas­ing full faith in the tax­pay­ers.

"Tax base has widened ow­ing to all mea­sures taken by govern­ment for sim­pli­fy­ing fil­ing and pro­cess­ing of tax re­turn, last year we got around 6.86 crore re­turns and this year I have se­lected only 0.35 per cent cases for scru­tiny thereby mean­ing that 99.65 per cent per­sons who have filed re­turns are ab­so­lutely at peace, there can­not be a b~tter sys­tem than this," said Mr. Chan­dra.

"Out of these 0.35 per cent also only 0.15 per cent are for lim­ited scru­tiny and 0.2per cent cases are for full scru­tiny, that shows we are hav­ing faith and we are go­ing to scru­ti­nize only in very high tax eva­sion cases but this does not mean that tax evaders will go out that is also very clear", added Mr. Chan­dra.

High­light­ing that last year there was an in­crease of 18 per

cent in rev­enue growth, the CBDT chair­man in­formed that in spite of the stressed econ­omy, the IT depart­ment col­lected Rs 10.03 lakh crore so there was a phe­nom­e­nal in­crease in the rev­enue. "We will sim­plify the process but we will give clar­i­fi­ca­tions on con­tentious is­sues."

He also in­formed that this year tax depart­ment was also work­ing on cer­tain ar­eas so as to en­sure mak­ing an at­mos­phere whereby ev­ery in­vestor or a for­eign com­pany or any­body can feel that In­dia is one of the best coun­try to in­vest in. "For that tax cer­tainty is very im­por­tant, whole prob­lem arises if there is no cer­tainty of tax and here is the role of all stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing the govern­ment as to how to sim­plify the things."

He fur­ther said that the tax depart­ment was si­mul­ta­ne­ously mak­ing its en­force­ment unit very strong so that if there is a case of tax evader it would be dealt with very se­verely. "We have got full in­for­ma­tion to nab tax evaders and we have the ca­pac­ity to do that be­cause there is au­to­ma­tion, sim­pli­fi­ca­tion and re­duced lit­i­ga­tion".

Not­ing that the govern­ment is com­mit­ted to­wards ease of do­ing busi­ness, he said In­dia should aim to rank in top 50 coun­tries in this re­gard. "Last year we jumped 30places in to this area and we are now into top 100 coun­tries in the world as far as ease of do­ing busi­ness is con­cerned."

He said that tax pol­icy had played a sig­nif­i­cant role as the ease of pay­ment of cor­po­ra­tion taxes, ease of al­lot­ment of PAN and other things were ab­so­lutely re­spon­si­ble for giv­ing a jump and boost of 30 places.

He also sought sug­ges­tions from the in­dus­try as it is the con­tin­ued en­deavor of the govern­ment on how to re­duce lit­i­ga­tion and how to sim­plify the pro­ce­dure. "If I can put cer­tain things into sim­pli­fied form, we would like to do that."

In the in­ter­na­tional tax­a­tion he said there were cer­tain is­sues, "Roy­alty is still a de­bat­able is­sue in the most of the lit­i­ga­tion, some­thing has to be done about it."

He added, "We need to find out some so­lu­tion and we need con­sen­sus at the global level, the govern­ment is ready for any change be it in law, sys­tem­atic op­er­a­tions, op­er­a­tional levy as only thing we want is ease of do­ing busi­ness and a men­tal psy­che of the tax pay­ers that they will have to be tax com­pli­ant."

Mr. D. S. Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, ASSOCHAM, Mr. Rakesh Nan­gia, Co-chair­man, Na­tional Coun­cil on In­ter­na­tional Taxes,ASSOCHAM, Chair­man, Cen­tral Board of Di­rect Taxes(CBDT), Min­istry of Fi­nance, Mr. San­deep Ja­jo­dia, Pres­i­dent, ASSOCHAM, Mr. Akhilesh Ran­jan, Pn of In­come Tax (In­ter­na­tional Tax), Mr. B. K. Goenka, Sr. Vp,ASSOCHAM and Ms Neeru Ahuja, Part­ner- Deloitte In­dia.

Mr. Ashutosh Dik­shit, Part­ner, Deloitte In­dia, Mr. Rakesh Nan­gia, Co-chair­man, Na­tional Coun­cil on In­ter­na­tional Taxes, ASSOCHAM, Mr. Kam­lesh C. Varsh­ney, Com­mis­sioner of In­come Tsx (In­ter­na­tional Tax­a­tion)-2, New Delhi and Mr. Vi­nay Mangla, Head of Tax, Google In­dia.

Ms Neeru Ahuja, Part­ner, Deloitte In­dia, Mr. San­jeev Sharma, Com­mis­sioner of In­come Tax(APA)-2, New Delhi, Mohd Ha­roon Qureshi, Vice-Pres­i­dent-Taxes, Gen­pact Group and Mr. Amit Rana, Part­ner, Pwc.

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