The bulky Income-Tax Act, which is to be replaced with a more condensed version from April 1, 2008 will be pruned substantially.
The 600 sections of the present Act of 1961 are being cut to around 360 section in the new Bill. Officials said the new Bill will also incorporate direct tax rates in the Act itself.
At present, the government derives its power to levy tax from the annual Finance Act. The change will ensure the government will be able to collect the tax even if tabling of the annual Finance Bill gets delayed. Under the present system, if the Finance Bill is delayed beyond February 28, the government has to submit a supplementary in order to empower itself to levy and collect the tax, a tax expert said.
Officials said the new Bill has also sought to use a formula to explain the implications of a tax. Very often it is difficult to comprehend how a tax is to be calculated. Rather than explaining it through text, the new Bill has sought to explain it by using formulas, an official said.
Also all references to a particular tax or provision is being clubbed at a single place. For instance, all references to the tax deduction at source will be compiled at a single place.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram last week said the government will attempt to introduce the new Bill from April 1, 2008.