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Budget 2012: What taxpayers want from the Finance Minister
March, 12th 2012

It's budget week and newspapers are chock-a-block with reports on industry expectations. Manufacturers want excise cuts. Insurance companies want relief from service tax.

Real estate developers want an industry status. Does anyone care about what taxpayers want? This is why ET Wealth reached out to small taxpayers to know what they would like to see in the budget. The online survey conducted last week by economictimes.com received 504 responses.

The survey results will surprise those who believe that small taxpayers only have tax cuts on their wishlist. Most of the respondents wanted a balanced budget that broadened the tax base without raising tax rates. There was even a sizeable minority (9.5%) that wanted a belt-tightening budget. Clearly, a majority of small taxpayers is willing to do its bit in buoying the economy.

Another surprise was the preference for a hike in the basic exemption limit over other measures. Given that 55% of the respondents were in the 30% tax bracket (annual income above Rs 8 lakh), a hike in the Section 80C investment limit to Rs1.5 lakh would be more beneficial to them.

 

Raising the exemption limit to Rs2 lakh would cut tax by Rs 2,000 (Rs 1,000 in case of women). But raising the Section 80C investment limit can help them reduce tax by up to Rs 15,000.

Similarly, wealth tax was the most hated tax in the respondents' list, even though it's likely that the dividend distribution tax makes a bigger hole in their pockets. Take a look at the other expectations of ordinary taxpayers.

 

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