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New direct tax codes to be tabled soon: Revenue Secretary
June, 16th 2010

Replacing the half century old Income Tax Act, the Central Government presented a landmark draft for a revised Direct Tax Code.

The draft is expected to revolutionize the existing taxation system in India, by ushering in changes in the domains of personal and private tax structures.

Revealing details of the proposed draft, Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra said on Tuesday that Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) would now be computed with reference to book profit, instead of calculating it with reference to "value of gross assets", as had been proposed earlier.

The draft is in the form of a discussion paper, and has taken radical steps to improvise on the paper released in 2009 on the same issue.

"We have prepared a revised discussion paper that gives, a) the provisions of the initial Income Tax Act; b) what was proposed in the draft Direct Taxes Code; c) broadly the nature of observations and reactions that we have received, and d) the revised proposal," said Sunil Mitra, Indian Revenue Secretary.

"The draft, which has received more than 1,600 comments from shareholders till now, would be in public domain for discussion till June end," Mitra added.

Under the provisions of the revised DTC, the EET (exempt-exempt-tax) regime would be restricted to new savings instruments after the draft comes into effect, and the same would not apply to existing saving instruments.

"There will be a meeting with all the major shareholders, and we will have another round of discussions with them. Thereafter, as the Finance Minister has committed, we will try and get the draft legislation in the Parliament in the Monsoon Session," Mitra said.

The new DTC would also explore financial areas of concern like wealth tax, pensions, money from gratuity, Special Economic Zones (SEZs),transfer pricing rules and taxes on charitable organizations, among others.

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