O13th August 2020, Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has enunciated a platform to tribute the honest taxpayers of the country and ensuring awareness about honest tax payment in India.

The inauguration of the “Transparent Taxation” program happened at 11 am through video conferencing. The “Transparent Taxation” platform will work to create major reforms meant to establish more transparency in income tax systems and empowering taxpayers in the country.

Further, to meet its secondary objective of increasing ease in tax system compliances for the taxpayers, the IT department has allowed pre-filling of ITRs to ensure a stress and hassle-free compliance primarily for individual taxpayers. Similarly, there has been the ease in compliances for the start-up entities.

Likewise, several measures like the promotion of digital transactions and electronic modes of payment have been initiated by the IT Department. The program also aims to take the required initiatives to relax other compliance burdens for taxpayers during the time of pandemic by prolonging statutory deadlines for filing returns and releasing refunds promptly to ensure liquidity among assessees.

Here are 10 key highlights of the program regarding the reforms in the taxation system-

1. The new amenities are intended to strengthen the government’s promise to honor the honest taxpayers in the country who can play a large role in nation-building. The program contains alterations like impersonal assessment, impersonal appeal, and a charter for the taxpayers in the country.

2. The introduction of the “Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest” platform program “landmark in improving the structural modifications commenced by the government.

3. The platform focusses on building a tax structure where the process of tax-payments is simpler, easier, and impersonal in nature.  It is impersonal in nature which means that no regard should be given to the identity of the assessee and tax officer.

4. Honest taxpayers in our country should be given due respect and care they deserve to be provided rather than looking towards them with doubt and reason. It shall be the duty of the tax department to undertake the steps and processes in a timely way.

5. The Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman announced a “taxpayer’s charter” in the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. This charter intends to empower citizens to get time-bound and hassle-free services by the Income Tax Department.

6. The  Finance Minister also stated the program “Transparent Taxation ” as a landmark day in the history of tax administration as the vision of the program is to build a strong nation with empowered taxpayers with a transparent tax system and admiration for the honest taxpayers.

7. It was also announced that now impersonal appeals would include an unsystematic allotment of cases to tackle litigation issues, handling electronic replies with zero physical interface of authorities & instant solutions for the problems.

8. The Government of India is committed to “create wholesome banking connection by bringing all under an organized channel, by safeguarding the unsecured and providing funding the unfunded”.

9. It was also acknowledged that in recent years the awareness to file ITRs has been increased but still, the ratio between the population and the regular taxpaying section is very low. Talking about the role taxpayers can play in nation-building, the Prime Minister requested people to voluntarily pay their taxes especially when the tax- collections have been declined due to the COVID-19 crisis.

10. The Government has undertaken many tax-reforms in past years to fulfill its objective of empowering the nation. It lowered corporate tax to 22 percent from 30 percent for existing companies, and 15 percent for new manufacturing units and scraping of dividend distribution tax in recent times.

Conclusion- How will it affect the tax system in India?

Earlier too, the IT Department simplified the income tax return filing process, lowered taxes for the common man, and launched its “Vivid Se Vishwas” scheme to expedite the resolution of pending tax disputes.

The “Transparent Taxation” Programme has been considered one of the milestones to fulfill the Government object of a strong nation with empowered citizens. It has once again affirmed the fact that taxpayers play an important role in building the nation and an impersonal tax system will build trust and confidence among the masses.

Also, a “faceless appeal facility” will be accessible to all the citizens from September 25, which marks another anniversary of  Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s birth anniversary. Such initiatives will reinforce the efforts of “reforming and simplifying our tax system and is being very well received by citizens of India.

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