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Tax Administrtation Intakes IT Facility : Government

Posted on 08 February 2008,    
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  Tax Administrtation Intakes IT Facility : Government

India ranks165th, as placed by a World Bank-IFC-PricewaterhouseCoopers study called Paying Taxes, 2008.  India’s ranking, measured on the basis of ease of paying taxes, was marginally better than its neighbour China (168), the country is far behind Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, Oman, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, New Zealand and Kiribati, which made up the top 10 nations.

However, there has been a significant improvement in the Tax Administration System.The government has made e-payment of income tax for corporates and other large taxpayers like self-employed professionals mandatory from the next fiscal.

The government has made e-filing of tax returns mandatory for this category of taxpayers. E-payment for indirect taxes like service tax, customs and excise has also taken off.

However, while some initiatives have taken off successfully, others have been slower to get off the ground.
Extending the refund banker scheme to ensure that assesses receive their income-tax refunds in time is one such scheme. The scheme, after being tested in Patna and Delhi, has been extended to more cities and it is only a matter of time when the whole country gets covered. This essentially involves outsourcing of tax refunds to banks, primarily SBI, instead of the IT department directly sending taxes.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has been silent on expansion of the annual information return (AIR). At present, the income-tax department gets data on seven transactions under the AIR. These include cash deposits of above Rs 10 lakh in a year in a savings account, annual credit card spend of above Rs 2 lakh, mutual fund investment above Rs 2 lakh in a year, investment in shares through public or rights issue above Rs 1 lakh, investments in bonds or debentures above Rs 5 lakh, sale and purchase of property above Rs 30 lakh and investment above Rs 5 lakh in RBI bonds.

The widening of the AIR is aimed at expanding the tax base and preventing tax evasion. The finance minister may announce some more in the forthcoming budget as per expectations.

The other major initiative large taxpayer unit (LTU), which is aimed at making life easy for corporate taxpayers


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