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Editorial: Tax-Terrorism to Tax-Transparency

Port Wings, 18 Nov 2020:

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored his government’s tax reforms such as faceless appeals and dispute redressal mechanism to say the country is moving from tax terrorism to tax transparency.

The Prime Minister said when the difficulties of the country’s wealth creator are reduced, they get protection and their trust grows in the country’s systems. He added the result of this growing trust is that more and more partners are coming forward to join the tax system for the development of the country.

The Prime Minister remarked that along with the reduction of tax and simplicity in the process, the biggest reforms that have been done are related to the dignity of honest taxpayers, to protect them from trouble.

The Prime Minister said the thought process in the government is to trust the income tax return completely at first after being filed. As a result of this, 99.75 percent of the returns filed in the country today are accepted without any objection.

He said it is a big change in the country’s tax system. Modi said the long period of slavery had made the relationship between tax payer and the tax collector that of exploited and exploiters.

The Prime Minister said governance should not cause inconvenience when collecting tax from the common people; but when that money reaches the citizens, then people should feel its benefits in their lives.

He said over the years, the government has moved ahead with this vision and today’s taxpayer is witnessing huge changes and transparency in the entire tax system. The taxpayer feels there is transparency in the system only when he does not have to wait months for a refund and gets a refund within a few weeks.

When he sees that the department has resolved the age-old dispute on its own, then he feels transparency. When he enjoys faceless appeal, then he feels tax transparency. When he sees that income tax is continuously decreasing, then he feels more tax transparency. The Prime Minister attributed zero tax on income up to Rs 5 lakh in the country as a huge benefit being given to our youth of lower middle class today.

He added that the new option of income tax given in the budget this year, has simplified the lives of the taxpayer. He said to speed up the pace of development and make India more investment friendly a historic cut has been made in corporate tax.

He said the tax rate for new domestic manufacturing companies has been set at 15 percent for the country to become self-sufficient in manufacturing. He added Dividend Distribution Tax has also been scrapped to increase investment in India’s equity market.

GST has also reduced the tax net and the tax rate in most goods and services has also come down. He said ease of doing business has improved in the country as a result of reducing the burden of disputes by increasing the limit of appeal from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 50 lakh in ITAT and to Rs 2 crore in Supreme Court. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that the IT Appellate Tribunal is also upgrading its Benches across the country for Virtual Hearing and said it is very important to upgrade the entire system in the era of technology. He stressed that more and more use of technology especially in our judiciary has started giving new convenience to the citizens of the country.

This change has come due to the Narendra Modi government’s approach of `Reform, Perform and Transform’.

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