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New Delhi : Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley on September 29, 2017, said that Income Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance has taken various initiatives in the last 2-3 years to bring about efficiency, transparency and fairness in tax administration. He said that a single page ITR-1 (SAHAJ) Form was introduced for tax payers having income up to Rs 50 lakh. Rate of tax for individuals having income of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh was reduced from 10% to 5%, which is one among the lowest in the world, the Finance Minister added.

Jaitley said that the concept of ‘no scrutiny’ was introduced for the First Time Non-Business Tax Payers having income up to Rs 5 lakh so that more and more people are encouraged to join the tax net and file their IT returns and pay the due amount of taxes, according to a PIB release. He was addressing the Second Meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Finance on the subject of “Initiatives of IT Department” in the national capital here.

Highlighting the other initiatives of the income Tax Department, Jaitley said that corporate tax was reduced to 25% for companies with turn-over up to Rs 50 crore thereby covering almost 96% of the companies. The new manufacturing companies incorporated on or after March 1, 2016, were given an option to be taxed at 25% without any deduction. The MAT ( Minimum Alternate Tax) credit was allowed to be carry forward up to 15 years instead of 10 years as part of procedural reforms, he added. The Finance Minister said that 97% of the income tax returns were filed electronically this year of which 92% returns were processed within 60 days and 90% refunds were also issued within 60 days, according to the PIB release.

Jaitley said through E-Sahyog, all cases of information mismatch are handled in non-intrusive manner to avoid full investigation. The Finance Minister further added that about 1.9 core salaried tax payers are being informed every quarter by the Income Tax Department of the amount of TDS deposited by their employers. He also highlighted the initiatives of the Income Tax Department as far as Ease of Doing Business and promoting Financial Markets are concerned. In this regard, he specifically mentioned about introduction of Presumptive Taxation Scheme for Professionals having income up to Rs 50 lakh. Similarly, threshold for Presumptive Taxation Scheme for business income raised from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore.

Jaitley mentioned about the enactment of the Black Money Act, 2015, Comprehensive Amendments to the Benami Act 1988 and Operation Clean Money. The Finance Minister said that after the intense follow-up of demonetization data from November 9, 2016 to January 10, 2017, about 1,100 searches were made resulting into seizure of Rs 610 crore including Rs 513 crore cash. He said that undisclosed income of Rs 5,400 crore was detected and about 400 cases have been referred to ED and CBI for án appropriate action, according to the PIB release.

Highlighting the impact of demonetization and the proactive initiatives of the Income Tax Department, the Finance Minister said that the revenue collections in case of direct taxes rose to Rs 8, 49, 818 crore during  2016-17 at a growth rate of 14.5 %.




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