All eyes are on Budget 2017, which is expected to be different from previous ones. This year, we will witness the merging of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget. Also, the Union Budget has been advanced by a month – a fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned ahead of the Budget session and before the Economic Survey was tabled in Parliament on 31st January, 2017.
N. Venkataraman, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court, shares his expectations on the upcoming Budget:
Clarity on how uncollected taxes would be recovered – the method and the time frame also needs to be spelled out.
Some tax sops for the salaried need not be done by extending the threshold exemption but by giving a standard reduction so that people within the tax net do not go out.
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Increasingly, with the Government encouraging digital payments, it makes sense for Budget 2017 to enable tax payers to file their income tax returns and tax payments digitally. Some countries provide pre-filled income tax returns forms to taxpayers. Further, the Budget can introduce a cash transaction tax for a limited period till the migration to digital payments becomes fully streamlined.
With the US hinting at border tax and Britain debating about a reduction in their tax rates, the emerging global picture is not looking good. Given this scenario, investments are not kick-starting bullishly in India, but the pressure of providing employment opportunities is shooting up.
There is a general expectation for unearthing unaccounted gold and a strict regime and implementation process in attaching benami properties.
Employment opportunities need to be significantly opened up in manufacturing, start-ups and service.
Summing up, Mr. N.Venkataraman says, “The co-operation of the middle class lies in their expectation that the defaulters, tax evaders and black money hoarders will be brought to hook. This conscious co-operation by Indians is based on the assumption that there will be a great turn- around for the nation’s economy, which is why the common man’s expectations will need to find a significant place in Finance Minister’s Budget on February 1.”