EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
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.
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.