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Direct Tax Code: All you need to know about govt panel's recommendations
August, 21st 2019

The committee has highlighted the need to review existing tax brackets, surcharges and implementation of special guidelines for startups. Concessions have also been suggested for middle-income taxpayers.

The high-level government task force on direct taxes, which was appointed to review the existing 58-year-old Income Tax Act, is believed to have proposed several changes that could reduce the taxation burden for several companies and individuals taxpayers.

The eight-member government panel, headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) member Akhilesh Ranjan, submitted its report on the new Direct Tax Code (DTC) on Monday. The government, however, is yet to make the report public.

While not many details about the report have emerged, the committee has highlighted the need to review existing tax brackets, surcharges and implementation of special guidelines for startups.

The committee's suggestions could make the existing Income Tax Act friendlier and even reduce the burden for middle-income group taxpayers.

Further pruning of corporate tax, which is a major hindrance for companies, could be another recommendation that has been mentioned in the committee's report.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday even indicated that the corporate tax rate for companies, earning over Rs 400 crore, will be gradually cut to 25 per cent.

For individual taxpayers

One of the main objectives of the committee was to make the I-T Act simpler, with focus on easing the burden on individuals and companies as acute slowdown continues to erode economic growth.

The committee's report is believed to shed light on two core aspects. The primary focus is on simplifying tax brackets to provide relief to middle-income taxpayers while removing any excess surcharges that add to the woes of taxpayers.

If such proposals come into effect, individual taxpayers may see their overall tax burden reduce.

The report is also expected to focus on promoting ease of doing business by suggesting a common tax rate for domestic and foreign companies. The committee may have proposed a special set of provisions for startups, which are worst-affected when it comes to taxation.

Among other things, the committee is expected to recommend the government to further reduce the tax burden on companies, considering the sharp slump in output.

It is likely that the committee recommended the government to further reduce the 25 per cent tax rate for companies earning up to Rs 400 crore.

The report will be made public only after the finance ministry evaluates it properly. But indications are strong that the new tax code will make the lives of individual taxpayers and companies significantly easier.

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