There has been a substantial increase in small businesses with the growth of transport and communication and general growth of the economy. A large number of businesses and service providers in rural and urban areas who earn substantial income are outside the tax-net.
Introduction of presumptive tax provisions in respect of small businesses would help a number of small businesses to comply with the taxation provisions without consuming their time and resources. A presumptive income scheme for small taxpayers lowers the compliance cost for such taxpayers and also reduces the administrative burden on the tax machinery.
In view of the above, it is proposed to expand the scope of presumptive taxation to all businesses by substituting a new section 44AD. The salient features of the proposed presumptive taxation scheme are as under:
(a) The scheme shall be applicable to individuals, HUFs and partnership firms excluding Limited liability partnership firms. It shall also not be applicable to an assessee who is availing deductions under sections 10A, 10AA, 10B, 10BA or deduction under any provisions of Chapter VIA under the heading “C.—Deductions in respect of certain incomes” in the relevant assessment year.
(b) The scheme is applicable for any business (excluding a business already covered under Sec. 44AE) which has a maximum gross turnover /gross receipts of 40 lakhs.
(c) The presumptive rate of income is prescribed at 8% of gross turnover /gross receipts.
(d) An assessee opting for the above scheme shall be exempted from payment of advance tax related to such business under the current provisions of the Income-tax Act.
(e) An assessee opting for the above scheme shall be exempted from maintenance of books of accounts related to such business as required under section 44AA of the Income-tax Act.
(f) An assessee with turnover below Rs 40 lakhs, who shows an income below the presumptive rate prescribed under these provisions, will, in case his total income exceeds the taxable limit, be required to maintain books of accounts and also get them audited.
(g) The existing section 44AF is proposed to be made inoperative for the assessment year beginning on or after 1st day of April, 2011.
The proposed amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2011 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2011-12 and subsequent years.