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Pranab Asks Officials to Design New Simple Income Tax Forms
January, 15th 2010

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee wants the income tax forms to be simple so that a taxpayer can understand his liability without consulting experts or chartered accountants.

I have told tax experts and colleagues (engaged in formulation of the Direct Taxes Code), that I would like to understand Income Tax by reading and understanding the forms which I am filling. I would not like to go back to any tax consultants or chartered accountants or tax advocates, if I can understand the income tax that I have to pay, he said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, an event organized for non-residential Indians, here Jan. 7.

Mukherjee said Direct Taxes Code is currently at the draft stage and will be implemented from 2011-12.

The code, on which the Indian government has invited comments from the public and stake holders, will replace the archaic Income Tax Act and simplify the tax procedures and have a lower tax liability by reducing exemptions.

The draft has evoked sharp criticisms from various quarters for its proposals such as taxing withdrawal from long term savings, doing away with tax rebate on housing loans, change in methodology of calculating minimum alternate tax among others.

Mukherjee had earlier assured the people that grievance would be addressed before a bill in this connection is tabled in Parliament.

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