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FM Arun Jaitley on tax in India: Top 5 points

Tue January 05 2016, 2:44 pm
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    Addressing the officer trainees of the Indian Revenue Service, Arun Jaitley made some telling points about the state of Indian taxation, economy as well as the impact of previous years actions. Check out the top 5 newsworthy points FM Arun Jaitley made in his speech:

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    1. Arun Jaitley: If you ask me 4-5 years later, in Income Tax Act... did the provisions of the retrospective taxation help India or did they hurt India? My answer is very clear, they hurt India because at the end of the day we have not been able to collect those taxes and we scared investors away. Standards of fairness in taxation must be maintained. (FM was referring to the retrospective tax law brought in by the previous UPA government. The UPA regime had amended the Income-tax Act in 2012 to get powers to tax deals with retrospective effect. This law was used to raise a total tax demand of Rs 20,000 crore on UK's Vodafone for its 2007 purchase of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd's Indian assets. The retrospective taxation evoked sharp reaction from both domestic as well as global investors. The same law was used by Income-Tax Department in January 2014 to raise a tax demand of Rs 10,247 crore on Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy plc.) (PTI photo)

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    2. Arun Jaitley: Taxes which are realisable have to be collected, but the taxes that are not realisable, should not be collected. Investors want stability and predictability and they don't want to be hit by a surprise that upsets business planning and therefore, it is important that standards of fairness in taxation must be maintained. (PTI photo)

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    3. Arun Jaitley: Under the taxation law, if a tax is payable it is payable. Tthere is no compassion that he is an old man, she is a widow. So-and-so doesn't have the means to pay... those are not considerations in taxation law. (PTI photo)

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    4. Arun Jaitley: The difficulty is that, both in direct tax and indirect tax, at times we deviate from this principle and we think that it's in the larger national interest to collect more taxes, and we become extra-aggressive, either in our interpretation process or even in the legislation process. (PTI photo)

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    5. Arun Jaitley: There are no grey areas in taxation law. Collection of taxes is the starting point of economic activity as more the taxes are collected, more they are invested which in turn leads to economic activity. If this circle get disrupted in any moment, you find an economic paralysis taking place, you find a slowdown taking place. (PTI photo)

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