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FM to unveil direct tax code today
August, 12th 2009

Countrys direct tax laws are all set to become saral for taxpayers. The government would on Wednesday unveil the new Direct Tax Code that seeks to simplify and rationalise the tax provisions.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will release a draft of the code and a discussion paper in the presence of home minister and former finance minister P Chidambaram, who initiated work on it during his tenure.

The new code that aims to change the face of how direct taxes in the country will replace the current Income-tax Act that was enacted about 50 years ago in 1961.

It would provide for tax calculatorsallowing taxpayers to calculate their own taxes, explain a tax provision in simple language.

One such case is to do with charities, which have in the past run into litigations because of the various interpretations of the rules. It could attempt to rationalise tax rules for charities that allow exemptions under a slew of provisions in the Income Tax Act.

Experts say the new code is likely to simplify the rules so that they become transparent and easily understood by both the tax collector and the tax payer in this category. The proposed tax code is also expected to include new measures to prevent abuse of some special bilateral taxation treaties between India and some nations.

The double taxation avoidance treaty, as it is known in technical parlance, allows taxpayers to pay a tax on their income only in one of the two countries which have signed the agreement.

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