Ministry of Finance vide its circular no. 334/6/2012-TRU had called suggestions from the Industry and Trade Associations for Union Budget 2013-14 regarding changes in direct and indirect taxes.
Accordingly Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) sent memorandum to P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister and Dr. Poonam Kishore Saxena, Chairman – Central Board of Direct Taxes, New Delhi.
VTA delegation led by its President J. P. Sharma also met & submitted pre budget memorandum to Devendra S. Saksena – Chief Commissioner Income Tax and discussed various issues raised therein. Also present in the meeting were CIT-III Mayank Priyadarshi.
In direct taxation VTA demanded increase in threshold limit of personal taxation, for Very Senior Citizens to Rs. 6 Lac from existing Rs. 5 Lac, Senior Citizens to Rs. 4 Lac from existing Rs. 2.5 Lac, Individuals/HUF to Rs. 3 Lac from existing Rs. 2 Lac.
On Tax Rate Structure, VTA demanded tax slab of 10% up to Rs. 10 Lac above basic exemption, 20% above Rs. 10 Lac to Rs. 20 Lac and 30% above Rs. 20 Lac.
VTA submitted that minimum alternate tax (MAT) was introduced to collect tax from those companies which had adequate book profit as per audited financial statements but nil or less taxable income and this tax rate has been increased from 7.5 % in 2007 to 18.5 % for 2011-12. This rate of 18.5 % is high as it adversely affects the MAT paying companies particularly the infrastructure companies. Hence VTA demanded that MAT rate may be brought down to 10 % from 18.5%.
Memorandum also highlighted the issue of reopening notices under Sections 147/148 which have become a very common happening, as across the country they are being served in thousands, many times even on points of law are commonly being used as grounds leading to extreme harassment of all assesses. This has turn out to be a breeding ground for corruption and harassment.
VTA also demanded that the audit limit as prescribed in Sec. 44AB be raised to Rs. 200 Lacs for business and Rs. 50 Lacs for professionals. It is also suggested that long term capital gain u/s 112 of the Act should be reduced to 15%.
VTA demanded rationalization and simplification in the taxation procedure and social security for taxpayers. Memorandum also demanded that all Income Tax officers specially assessing officers should be brought under accountability net to reduce number of litigation between department and taxpayers.
In Indirect Taxes, VTA reminded Government that when VAT was introduced, Government promised that Central sales tax (CST) would be withdrawn completely but yet 2% CST continuous, therefore from coming year CST should be reduced to 1%.
Similarly in Service Tax, VTA suggested that taking into consideration the slowdown in economy, rate of service tax should be brought down to 8% from existing 12%. Likewise it is also suggested that the due date for payment of central excise duty and service tax may be extended to the 15th of each month or quarter.
Memorandum also emphasized on making Goods and Service Tax (GST) applicable in this forthcoming budget. VTA reiterated that all the taxes levied by the Centre and the States on goods and services must be subsumed in the proposed GST including stamp duty, purchase tax, APMC fees, royalties, property tax, tax on motor vehicles, tax on goods and passengers, duty on electricity, entry tax, octroi, LBT, etc.
VTA highlighted that many amendments in the Act with retrospective effect has brought fear in minds of taxpayers and has been criticized world over. These amendments override a law settled by judicial precedence or a legitimate argument of the taxpayer supported either by an interpretation of law or by any decision of the court, hence such amendments should not be encouraged.
Prominently present in the meeting were Vice President – Ramkishan Ojha, Secretary – Tejinder Singh Renu, Joint Secretaries – Hemant Trivedi and Pravin M. Agrawal, Executive Body Members – Amarjeet Singh Chawla, Rajesh Kanoongo, Rohit Agrawal, CA Manoj Moriyani, Sanjay K. Agrawal and Rohit Kanoongo.