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RV Easwar committee on simplification of provisions of IT act Recommendations pdf

The committee was set up to make recommendations for simplification of direct tax laws.

  • The committee has suggested several taxpayer-friendly measures to improve the ease of doing business, reduce litigation and accelerate the resolution of tax disputes. Recommendations:
  • It proposed deferring the contentious Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) provisions and making the process of refunds faster. The report made following observation pertaining to ICDS – “Taxpayers are already grappling with regulatory changes of the Companies Act, 2013, Ind-AS (Indian accounting standards) and the proposed GST (goods and services tax). Industry should be allowed more time to deal with another change of this nature. The committee understands that the taxpayers feel that many of the provisions of the ICDS  are capable of generating a legal debate about which at present there is no clarity,”
  • NOTE: ICDS standards, 10 in all, which will affect the way income is calculated, were expected to come into force from financial year 2015-16.
  • The committee has asked the income-tax department to desist from the practice of adjusting tax demand of a taxpayer whose tax return is under assessment against legitimate refunds due.
  • It has also proposed deletion of a clause that allows the tax department to delay the refund due to a taxpayer beyond six months and suggested a higher interest levy for all delays in refunds.
  • The panel also proposed that stock trading gains of up to Rs.5 lakh will be treated as capital gains and not business income, a move that could encourage more retail investments in the stock market.
  • The committee has recommended that Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) rates for individuals be reduced to 5% from 10%.
  • It also sought to provide an exemption to non-residents not having a Permanent Account Number (PAN), but who furnish their Tax Identification Number (TIN), from the applicability of TDS at a higher rate.
  • The committee also recommended that most of the processes of the income-tax department should be conducted electronically to minimize human interface. To this effect, it suggested that processes such as filing of tax returns, rectification of mistakes, appeal, refunds and any communication regarding scrutiny including notices, questions and documents sought should be done electronically.
  • To make it easy for small businesses, the committee recommended that the eligibility criteria under the presumptive scheme be increased to Rs.2 crore from Rs.1 crore. It also recommended launching a similar scheme for professionals.

NOTE: Under the presumptive income scheme, such professionals or businesses will not need to maintain a book of accounts but just pay tax based on presumptive income calculations. For instance, for professionals it is proposed that 33.3% of their previous year’s receipts will be taken as income on which they will have to pay tax. If their profits are much lower, they will have to maintain a book of accounts clearly categorizing expenditure and pay tax accordingly.

The Government had accepted to implement the recommendations of the committee. Some of these recommendations that required amendments to the income-tax act, were introduced as a part of the Union budget 2016-17, while some other changes in administrative procedure will be implemented through official notifications by the income tax department.

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