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Nirmala Sitharaman comes Hard on ‘Tax Terror’, Introduces ‘Faceless’ Scrutiny

Nirmala Sitharaman comes Hard on ‘Tax Terror’, Introduces ‘Faceless’ Scrutiny

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Aug 2019 5:06 AM GMT

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that tax authorities do not have to overreach or harass as the tax targets set in the Budget are well within achievable limits.

The minister’s assertions came at a meeting here in which she announced a slew of steps to boost growth via reform measures. The minister also announced that the government would introduce ‘faceless’ scrutiny of tax liabilities of individuals and corporates.

Lately, India Inc has called for measures to curb ‘tax terrorism’.

Sitharaman said she has met several state tax officials and urged them not to lay stress on tax liabilities. She would also meet tax officials across the country and convey the message.

Nirmala Sitharaman said technology can be used to monitor tax payments and liabilities, which should be used by the authorities.

Announcing introduction of ‘faceless’ scrutiny, the minister said from the upcoming Vijaya Dashami in October, no tax official will have to physically visit any individual for tax summons and monitoring.

She said that tax notices and summonses without a computer generated unique ID number would not be valid. This measure would help curb unauthorized tax summonses.

She said all pending IT notices will be disposed of within three months from the date of reply, adding all pending income tax notices till now will be resolved by October 1, 2019.

Additionally, IT notices will be sent through centralized computer system from October 1, 2019.

In a big relief to start-ups, the minister withdrew ‘angel tax’ provision for startups and their investors.

On violation of corporate social responsibility norms, the Minister said such violations would not be treated as criminal offence. Prosecution will be replaced with a more humane approach and wealth creators will be honoured and respected, she added. (IANS)

HIGHLIGHTS

Taxation

  • Prefilling of IT returns
  • Faceless scrutiny from Vijaya Dashmi 2019
  • Reduction in GST returns and simplification of forms
  • Refund process of GST simplified.
  • Risk based approach in dealing with tax payers

Labour laws

  • Fixed term employment for flexibility in hiring
  • Contribution of ESIC reduced from 6.5% to 4%
  • Web-based and jurisdiction-free Inspections
  • Inspection report to be uploaded within 48 hours
  • Compounding of offences
  • Self certification for start-ups - 6 labour laws

Corporate affairs

  • 1 day to incorporate a company - Central Registration Centre for name reservation & incorporation
  • Integrated Incorporation Form
  • Shifting of 16 offence sections to monetary penalty only
  • Faster & easier approvals for mergers and acquisitions
  • Modifications in provisions for Differential Voting Rights
  • Withdrawal of over 14,000 prosecutions under Companies Act
  • Robust IBC framework with amendments supporting MSMEs and home buyers

CSR violations

  • Not to be treated as criminal offence and would instead be civil liability. Ministry of Corporate Affairs to review the sections under Companies Act. Government has provided companies through revised orders, time for completing ongoing projects towards fulfil their CSR obligations.

Banks to effect timely rate cuts

  • Banks have decided to pass on rate cuts through MCLR reduction to benefit all borrowers

Customer Ease

  • To reduce harassment and bring in greater efficiency, PSBs to ensure mandated return of loan documents within 15 days of loan closure.
  • Benefit: Borrowers who have mortgaged assets

Online tracking of loan applications

  • On line tracking of loan applications by customers of Retail, MSME, Housing, Vehicle, working Capital, limit enhancements, renewals etc.
  • Would increase transparency, reduce harassment, and improve turn around time for customers.

Support to NBFCs/HFCs

More credit support for purchase of houses, vehicles, consumption goods,

  • Additional liquidity support to HFCs Rs. 20,000 Cr by NHB thereby increasing it to Rs. 30,000 Cr.
  • Partial Credit Guarantee scheme for purchase of pooled assets of NBFCs/HFCs upto Rs 1 lakh Cr - to be monitored at highest level in each bank
  • Prepayment notices issued to NBFCs to be monitored by Banks

GST Refund to MSME

  • All pending GST refund due to MSMEs shall be paid within 30 days. In future all GST refunds shall be paid within 60 days from the date of application

Delayed Payments

  • Delayed payments from Government/ CPSEs to be monitored by Department of Expenditure and performance reviewed by Cabinet Secretariat.

Also Read: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces steps to achieve Higher Economic Growth

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