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Reforms in tax structure mooted
May, 03rd 2010

Finance ministry advisors have called for reforms in the tax structure for services like shipping, aviation and telecom to make them competitive, as well as put the economy on a higher growth path.

A working paper authored by finance ministry senior economic advisor H A C Prasad and additional economic advisor R Sathish asked for rationalising the tax structure in the shipping industry, which pays 12 direct and indirect taxes currently.

Taxes like corporate tax, minimum alternate tax, dividend distribution tax, withholding tax on interest paid to foreign lenders, wealth tax, VAT, lease tax and service tax raise the effective tax rate of around 2% under the tonnage regime to around 9%, said the paper, titled Policy for Indias Services Sector.

As per the tonnage tax system imposed on shipping a few years back, levies were to be based on assets rather than on revenue. The paper clarified that these are the views of the authors and not the finance ministry.

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