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  1. Demonetisation: Your income tax rates could come down, hints FM Arun Jaitley

Demonetisation: Your income tax rates could come down, hints FM Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hinted at lower direct and indirect tax rates in the future as demonetisation results in higher tax revenues from unaccounted wealth coming into system.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: December 13, 2016 8:20 PM

 

arun jaitley, gst, demonetisation, demonetisation india, narendra modi, pm narendra modi The money being deposited has to be accounted for and taxes paid – 50 per cent on voluntary disclosures of unaccounted money and 85 per cent for any failures. (PTI)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hinted at lower direct and indirect tax rates in the future as demonetisation results in higher tax revenues from unaccounted wealth coming into system.

He also warned of a “very heavy price” that unscrupulous elements will have to pay for amassing large amounts of cash unlawfully, saying agencies are keeping a close eye on cash accumulations.

The November 8 announcement by government to demonetise high value notes has in one stroke junked 86 per cent of the currency in circulation and holders of the discontinued notes can deposit them in banks before the end of the year and withdraw money in new currency.

The money being deposited has to be accounted for and taxes paid – 50 per cent on voluntary disclosures of unaccounted money and 85 per cent for any failures.

“So much money…operating as loose cash in the system has today come into the banking system,” he said. “It has to be accounted for. Where taxes have not been paid will now be recovered.”

Jaitley said future transactions would be substantially digital as India moves towards a less-cash society.

“Once they are substantially digital they get caught in tax net,” he said. “Therefore the future taxation level would be much higher than what is currently being collected. This would also enable the government at some stage to make taxes more reasonable which will apply to both direct and indirect taxes.”

Demonetisation together with other reforms, particularly the GST and the restrictions on cash spending subjected to PAN declaration, will bring down the levels of corruption in society, he said.

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“It is going to bring down cash transaction in society and it’s going to bring down levels of evasion as far as taxation is concerned,” he said.

Jaitley said it has come to the notice of the government that some unscrupulous people, including some in the banking system and others, have been trying to subvert the system once again and have accumulated large amounts of cash unlawfully.

“Obviously there is a breach of law in this and this is a step which hurts the economy. And therefore all agencies have an eye on this. They will investigate this matter and all those who are indulging in this malpractices will have to pay a very heavy price for what they are doing,” he added.

As more and more of the new currency comes into circulation and re-circulated in the banking system, ATMs will make it increasingly available, Jaitley said.

On the advantages of the demonetisation move, he said a large volume of cash has come into the banking system and taxes will be recovered wherever they are not paid.

“Future transactions would be substantially digital and once they are substantially digital they get caught in the tax net. Therefore the future taxation level would be much higher than what is currently being collected,” he said.

It would also enable the government at some stage to make taxes more reasonable which will apply to both direct and indirect taxes, he said.

Also, the banking system will have lot more cash, which will boost it’s ability to support economy with low cost lending.

“Obviously with all these advantages the social cost also on the system will go down. Therefore, the cash used for bribery, for counterfeit currency, for terrorism, for evading taxes itself will go down,” he said.

Taken together with other reforms particularly the proposed GST and the restrictions on cash spending subjected to PAN declaration, it is going to “bring down the levels of corruption in society”, he said.

“It is going to bring down cash transaction in society and it’s going to bring down levels of evasion as far as taxation is concerned,” he said.

Stating that the government is ready for a debate on the demonetisation issue in Parliament, he urged the Congress and other opposition parties to “rise above slogans and look at the positive advantages that this changes system in the long run is going to bring to the economy as a whole”.

“Therefore, from national perspective, I would appeal to the opposition to join this campaign rather than create obstruction and fail to understand what the real purpose and the import of this campaign really is,” he said.

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