New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that Income-Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance has taken various initiatives in the last two to three years in order to bring about efficiency, transparency and fairness in tax administration.
Highlighting the initiatives of the government Jaitley said "a Single Page Income Tax Returns (ITR-1 (SAHAJ) Form was introduced for taxpayers with annual income up to Rs 50 lakh. Rate of tax for individuals having income of Rs. 2.5 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs was reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent, which is one among the lowest in the world. The concept of 'no scrutiny' was introduced for the First Time Non-Business Tax Payers having income up to Rs. 5 lakhs so that more and more people are encouraged to join the tax net and file their IT returns and pay the due amount of taxes."
"Corporate Tax was reduced to 25 percent for companies with turn-over up to Rs. 50 crore thereby covering almost 96 percent of the companies. The new manufacturing companies incorporated on or after March 1 2016 were given an option to be taxed at 25 percent without any deduction. The Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) credit was allowed to be carry forward up to 15 years instead of 10 years as part of procedural reforms," Jaitley added.
Further speaking on E-Governance, Jaitley said that 97 percent of the income tax returns were filed electronically this year, out of which 92 percent returns were processed within 60 days and 90 percent refunds were also issued within 60 days.
Jaitley also highlighted the initiatives of the Income Tax Department as far as ease of doing business and promoting financial markets are concerned.
He also mentioned about the introduction of Presumptive Taxation Scheme for Professionals having income up to Rs. 50 lakhs.
As far as the drive against black money is concerned, the Income-Tax Department has taken various initiatives since the present Government came to power.
In this regard, the Finance Minister mentioned about the enactment of the Black Money Act, 2015, Comprehensive Amendments to the Benami Act 1988 and Operation Clean Money among others.
"After the intense follow-up of demonetization data from November 9, 2016 to January 10, 2017, about 1100 searches were made resulting into seizure of Rs. 610 crore including cash of Rs. 513 crore," Jaitley said.
"Undisclosed income of Rs. 5400 crore was also detected and about 400 cases have been referred to ED and CBI for an appropriate action," he added.
In order to promote less cash economy and digital transactions, Jaitley said that the Income Tax Department took various initiatives including penalty for cash receipt of Rs. 2 lakh or more, limit of cash donation to charitable trusts reduced from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 2,000 and no cash donations of Rs. 2,000 or more to political parties.
Highlighting the impact of demonetization and the proactive initiatives of the Income Tax Department, the Finance Minister said that the revenue collections in case of direct taxes rose to Rs. 8, 49, 818 crore during the Financial Year 2016-17 at a growth rate of 14.5 per cent. (ANI)