Budget 2021: Streamlining tax administration?

Updated: February 02, 2021 1:38 PM

Union Budget 2021-22: Here are some of timeline-related changes which would impact individual taxpayers.

The approach towards administrative changes helps in bringing about certainty to taxpayers and is aligned to the principle of “minimum government with maximum governance”, one of the six pillars of the Budget.

Union Budget 2021-22 India: Unchanged tax rates, despite the overwhelming pressure on the economy, have been the key highlight of Budget 2021. The focus is, therefore, on providing stability and certainty to the tax regime coupled with streamlining the administration. The administrative changes proposed in the Budget can be categorized into timeline changes and process related changes.

Here are some of timeline-related changes which would impact individual taxpayers:

The process related changes as proposed in the Budget are very welcome. Some of these include:

  • Senior citizens of 75 years and above, with pension income and interest income credited to the same bank account to which pension is credited, are not required to file their tax returns.
  • Currently tax returns are pre-filled with details relating to salary, interest income where there has been a tax withholding by the payer. The proposal is to pre-fill the information relating to capital gains and dividends as well in tax return forms, which would help taxpayers to have a better starting point in terms of tax return filings.
  • A taxpayer is required to pay taxes in advance based on the estimated income for the year in instalments and any delay or deferment in payment of such taxes would trigger interest payments. The proposal now is that the tax payer is not required to estimate the dividend income in advance, but can consider the same basis actual payout of the dividend, which is a welcome relief.
  • Faceless assessment has now been extended to Tribunal level appeals, in addition to the regular assessment and appeals at Commissioner levels.

Overall, the approach towards administrative changes helps in bringing about certainty to taxpayers and is aligned to the principle of “minimum government with maximum governance”, one of the six pillars of the Budget.

(By Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India, and Vijay Bharech, Senior Manager with Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP)

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