"To qualify being literate in the 21st century, you must be one who can learn, unlearn and relearn." This quote of Alvin Toffler should inspire taxpayers and professionals of India to get oriented with the proposed direct tax code (DTC), after their near 50-year-old acquaintance with the Income-Tax Act of 1961.
Fortunately, the new code is not just old wine in a new bottle. With its thrust to improve the efficiency and equity of the tax system, introducing moderate levels of taxation and expanding the tax base, it encompasses sweeping structural changes. Simplicity, flexibility, unification, consolidation and even some logical innovation drawing inspiration from best international practices are some of its striking meritorious features.
While several old notions have rightly been discarded in response to the needs of changing times, many new concepts introduced, though seemingly justifiable, are wrought with inequities and inconsistencies that need to be ironed out before the Code gets enacted.
One legislation that has always aroused the maximum interest and concern amongst literate Indians is tax, since it has a direct influence on the money that comes and goes in and out of their wallets.
Starting today, our tax guru Mukesh M Patel will present every Thursday and Monday, a series of analytical articles with a view to enable you to appreciate the impact of the new tax proposals on your earnings, savings, wealth and management of tax affairs and stimulate you to raise your voice of approval, concern or dissent.
Slated to be effective from April 1, 2011, the draft DTC has been kept open for public debate until September end, before it is presented to the Parliament in the Winter Session, 2009 for formal enactment.
We invite you to give your valued feedback through My Times My Voice. Readers' views will sent to the finance minister, CBDT and other relevant authorities for earnest consideration. You will be shaping the final contours of DTC through this novel initiative. Take it as a tryst with your tax destiny!