Those looking for income-tax relief in the forthcoming Budget to fight rising food prices are likely to be disappointed. According to a senior finance ministry official, “the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) has to be implemented next year and considering DTC is a composite plan, it will not be a good idea to implement it in bits and pieces”.
Any change in the personal income-tax rates in the coming Budget, therefore, was highly unlikely, said the official. The complete structure is set to come into force in full and not step-by-step. This clearly indicates that though the next Budget Session is set to be stormy; on the income-tax front, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is unlikely to disturb the tax rate structure in a major way in the Budget for 2011-2012 and maintain peace in this critical area.
The Direct Taxes Code Bill, 2010, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 30 last year and it was proposed to implement the Code from April 2012. The Income Tax Department had chalked out a plan for the preparation and its implementation from next year, said the official. A few changes due to political compulsions, however, should not be ruled out completely, said the official.
The department is focusing on developing an integrated technology platform to ensure a smooth transition to DTC from the existing Income Tax Act. The Code offers an opportunity for the Income Tax Department to integrate its people, process and technology through an integrated technology platform.
According to the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the idea is to prepare for the transition with a detailed outreach programme both for the taxpayers and departmental personnel. The department has also envisaged to make use of the opportunity to move towards a fully automated technology-driven system and integrate the compliance process chain through a common technology platform.
The department was also in the process of drafting the final rules associated with various sections of DTC, said the official.