Paying taxes should be seen as a national obligation : Arun Jaitley

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September 1, 2016

Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has stressed on ethical spending and honest tax paying to create an economically prosperous nation. Speaking at an interactive session organized by FICCI and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in Mumbai, Mr. Jaitley said “faster we move in the direction of ethical spending culture, our economy would expand and our ability to support weaker sections through social security measures would increase.” He said paying taxes should be seen as a legal, ethical and national obligation and appealed to citizens to buy peace and sleep well.

Mr. Jaitley said the technology has become a big facilitator and information is available on real time basis. And those who do not disclose income or pay taxes would face consequences.

The Finance Minister said gradually over the years, tax reforms in India have made the taxation slabs more and more reasonable. He said the corporate tax is also reasonable and we will soon come down to 25% rate minus all exemptions.

Mr. Arun Jaitley remarked that the Income Declaration Schemes launched in previous years met with limited success. Many of the old schemes were seen as a discrimination to a honest tax player. In contrast, he said, the 2016 Income Declaration Scheme has a 45% rate and also includes a penalty for not having paid the tax.

The Finance Minister hoped that the Income Declaration Scheme would pick up in its last month – i.e. September 2016. Mr. Jaitley said the Central Board of Direct Taxes, CBDT has shown considerable amount of flexibility and have been open to several suggestions that have come from many expert bodies.

Income Declaration Scheme 2016, which came into effect from June 1, 2016, provides an opportunity for those who did not disclose income or pay taxes thereon in the past. Under this scheme, such persons can declare the undisclosed income and pay tax, surcharge and penalty and buy peace. September 30th is the last date for making declaration and November 30 is the last date for paying taxes and penalties.

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