The Union Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley in his Budget Speech in Lok Sabha today announced measures to improve the ease of doing business so as to achieve ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’.
He sought to bring about simplification of taxprocedures in the Financial Bill 2015. Monetary limits for a case to be heard by a single member bench of ITAT is proposed to be increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. The proposed amendments in the Income-tax Act provide that:
• Penalty provision in indirect taxes are being rationalized to encourage compliance and early dispute resolution.
• Central excise/ Service tax assesses to be allowed to use digitally signed invoices and maintain record electronically.
• Wealth-tax replaced with additional surcharge of 2 per cent on super rich with a taxable income of over Rs 1 crore annually.
• Provision of indirect transfers in the Income-tax Act suitably cleaned up.
• Applicability of indirect transfer provisions to dividends paid by foreign companies to their shareholders to be addressed through a clarificatory circular.
• Domestic transfer pricing threshold limit increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore.
• MAT rationalized for FIIs and members of an AOP. • Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) recommendations to be appropriately implemented during the course of the year.
• Education cess and the Secondary and Higher education cess to be subsumed in Central Excise Duty.
• Specific rates of central excise duty in case of certain other commodities revised.
• Excise levy on cigarettes and the compounded levy scheme applicable to pan masala,
gutkha and other tobacco products also changed.
• Excise duty on footwear with leather uppers and having retail price of more than Rs 1000 per pair reduced to 6 %.
• Online central excise and service tax registration to be done in two working days.
• Time limit for taking CENVAT credit on inputs and input services increased from 6 months to 1 year.
• Service-tax plus education cesses increased from 12.36% to 14% to facilitate transition to GST.
• Donation made to National Fund for Control to Drug Abuse (NFCDA) to be eligible for 100% deduction u/s 80G of Income-tax Act.
• Seized cash can be adjusted towards assesses tax liability.