Focus of the Budget is on Tax Compliance: Govt is committed to Honour the Honest Taxpayers, says CBDT Chairman

“The budget this year focuses on the clarity and certainty of the tax laws, while at the same time endeavoring to make the country more tax compliant and to honour the honest taxpayers. The focus areas for the budget this year are digitalization, demonetisation, expansion of tax base, and saving the genuine tax payers from any harassment from the taxman”, said Mr Sushil Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance.

Mr Sushil Chandra further emphasized on the policy and direction of the budget, and assured the industry that the Government would come up with any clarifications that might be called for on any of the newly introduced legislations, such as GAAR and POEM. Mr Chandra was delivering the keynote address as the Chief Guest at the Post Budget Interactive Session with Ministry of Finance organized by CII in Delhi today.

Speaking at the session, Mr Ram Tirath, Member – Budget and GST, Central Board of Excise & Customs, Ministry of Finance mentioned that “since the Government is committed on bringing GST with effect from 1st July, there are not many changes in the area of indirect taxes. The changes that have been incorporated in the budget are largely in the areas of digitization, ease of doing business, export promotion and anti-avoidance. The move to GST will be a smart transformation, i.e. Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsible and Transparent, and will radically change the indirect taxation scenario of the country”. Mr Ram Tirath further added that the final GST law is expected to be in the public domain by the end of March.

During his address, Mr Sushil Kumar Sahai, Member – Income Tax, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance addressed the concerns of the industry on issues involving tax reduction for MSME companies, MAT, APA, IndAS, GAAR and POEM. Mr Sahai stressed on the focus of the Government to save the genuine tax payers from any harassment under the newly launched Operation Clean Money. He promised to take back to the Government the concerns of the industry on the levy of surcharge on personal incomes between Rs 50 lakhs and 1 crore.

Welcoming the guests earlier in the session, Mr Rajiv Memani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Taxation congratulated the Government on coming up with an outstanding and prudent budget, with emphasis on fiscal prudence, widening of the tax base, ease of doing business and tax compliance. Mr Memani appreciated the reduction of corporate tax rate for MSMEs, saying that it would go a long way in supporting the growth of the sector.

Mr Memani requested the Government to consider and address the concerns of the industry on various issues like MAT, APA, GAAR, long term capital gains, possible harassment to tax payers and Operation Clean money. “The Government should reconsider the surcharge proposed on incomes between Rs 50 lakhs and 1 crore, as the move goes against the Government’s intention to reward the honest taxpayers The Government should consider reducing the rate of surcharge to 5%, if not remove it altogether”, suggested Mr Memani.