Tagged: Income Tax

NTH :: Earning more than Rs 50 lakh? Now declare your net worth

By Chandralekha Mukerji | ET Bureau | 1 Apr, 2016, 06.47AM IST | Economic Times

NTH

BENGALURU: If you earn more than Rs 50 lakh a year, the I-T Department wants you to declare the break-up of your net worth. In the new set of ITR forms launched on 31st evening, the CBDT has added a new schedule — schedule AL to all ITR forms (including ITR 1).

Under this new section, individuals will have to declare all their assets and liabilities, as on end of financial year 2015-16. The section applies to all individuals and HUFs earning more than Rs 50 lakh a year.

Under the section assets have been classified under two categories — moveable and immovable. One will have to declare any land or building (includes house property) under immovable assets. Movable assets list includes cash in hand (money in your savings account), vehicles (including yacht, boats and aircraft), jewellery, bullion and other valuable metals. Liabilities will include any outstanding loans you have.

“While further instructions on how to value assets are awaited, taxpayers will find it challenging to value their assets themselves, especially jewellery and vehicles. Salaried individuals do not usually maintain fair market value of jewellery owned or written down allowance (depreciation) of vehicles owned by them,” says Archit Gupta, CEO and founder, ClearTax.in.

The taxman also wants to know the details of the businesses you earn from, in case you have more than one. A new section has been added to the ITR- 4S seeking code, nature and description of the three main businesses–activities or products that you earn from. This section earlier existed in only ITR-4 only, a much lengthier form compared to ITR-4S. Moreover, the new ITR-4S can now be filed by partnership firms too. All they have to declare is the salary and interest paid to the partners.

ITR-4S was earlier a succinct form, now with three additions -specifying nature of business, salary and interest paid to partners (applicable only to firms) and schedule AL,it will need a lot more effort from those who preferred to file it,” says Gupta.

In this year’s Budget, the FM had increased the scope of ITR 4S in this year’s budget by bringing professionals earning up to Rs 50 lakh a year under presumptive tax, wherein, they have to pay taxes at a pre-determined rate of 50 per cent of gross receipts. Earlier, under this process of tax-filing, apart from profit declaration no other details were required. The new forms will change this in case you have multiple businesses.

Source: http://goo.gl/GTtmzd

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ATM :: Guess How Many People Pay Income Tax? You Will be Surprised

NDTV Profit Team | Last Updated: February 08, 2016 11:45 (IST)

ATM

It is that time of the year, when the salaried class starts praying for incremental tax concessions in the annual budget. Analysts, however, say that the government should focus on increasing the tax net instead of announcing new income tax concessions.

That’s because only 3 per cent of over 1 billion people in the country are estimated to pay income tax. Those who earn Rs. 21,000 and more (per month) have to pay taxes, but many small businesses, professionals (such as doctors and lawyers) and rich farmers do not pay taxes.

Tax evasion is not limited to smaller tax payers, analysts say. The number of people who declare annual income of over Rs. 1 crore is abysmally low at just around 50,000 in the country, they added.

“The number of income tax payers in India is woefully small, and the prosperity the country has achieved post reforms, do not reflect in number of taxpayers… We have to devise systems so that we can be able to bring tax avoiding population within the tax net,” said Yashwant Sinha, former finance minister.

According to Mr Sinha, the government has taken “baby steps” by announcing several measures on cash transactions, which could add 30-40 lakhs more tax payers per year.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST), however, could be a big step in bringing more people in the tax net, he added.

“If you had GST for instance, that will help… You will not have a separate sales tax, separate services tax, and a separate excise duty, etc. and you will have income tax. So, people in this country will be paying only two kinds of taxes… If a person is paying a certain amount of excise or service tax and he is not paying income tax, we can easily net him in income tax by finding this out,” Mr Sinha said.

Source : http://goo.gl/eS9Ay9

NTH :: Budget may offer TDS relief to taxpayers

Changes in threshold not to have a significant revenue impact, say officials
Dilasha Seth & Indivjal Dhasmana | New Delhi | January 29, 2016 Last Updated at 00:59 IST | Business Standard

NTH

The government is considering rationalising tax deducted at source, according to recommendations made by the R V Easwar Committee.

Officials said the changes in tax deducted at source (TDS) rates and thresholds would not have a significant revenue impact. Revision of the tiny annual limits, which were long overdue, would, however, benefit small depositors and pensioners, they added. “For the Budget, we will be looking at recommendations that do not have large revenue implications. For the rest, we will have to do the math on the tax revenue foregone,” said a government official.

The panel has suggested reducing the short-term capital gains tax on annual earning of less than Rs 5 lakh from trading of shares and not treating it as business income. This will have a significant revenue implication when the government is trying to lower the fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016-17 from the projected 3.9 per cent in 2015-16.

Budget may offer TDS relief to taxpayers The committee has recommended reduction of the TDS rate for individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) to five per cent from 10 per cent. For interest on securities, it has proposed raising the threshold for TDS to Rs 15,000 from Rs 2,500 annually and halving the tax rate to five per cent. For other interest earnings, the limit recommended is Rs 15,000, up from Rs 10,000 for bank deposits and Rs 5,000 for others.

“The thresholds are unfair to pensioners and widows, who have all their savings in fixed deposits. The average rate of tax has fallen, but these thresholds have not gone up. Why should they suffer tax at 10 per cent when the average rate of tax is somewhere at five per cent,” Easwar told Business Standard.

The 10-member panel has recommended a hike in the TDS threshold for payments in respect of NSS (National Service Scheme) deposits to Rs 15,000 from Rs 2,500, and reducing rates from 20 per cent to five per cent. The panel has also suggested raising the TDS limit for payments to contractors from the current Rs 30,000 for a single transaction and Rs 75,000 annually to Rs 1 lakh annually. The TDS limit on rent income is proposed to be raised from Rs 1.8 lakh annually to Rs 2.4 lakh.

Budget may offer TDS relief to taxpayers

The committee has submitted only a draft report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and is likely to present the final one in a few days. Sources said the final report would not be drastically different from the draft. Jaitley said on Monday at an Income Tax Appellate Tribunal event the government was looking at the recommendations to come up with a neater tax regime to reduce litigation. The committee has said nearly 65 per cent of personal income tax collection in India was through TDS and the government should consider making its provisions less tedious.

The panel was set up by Jaitley in October to identify provisions and phrases in the Income Tax Act that led to litigation over interpretation. It was asked to suggest alternatives to ensure predictability in tax laws without substantially impacting the tax base or revenue collections.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Easwar panel on tax simplification

  • Treat stock trading gains of up to Rs 5 lakh as capital gains and not business income
  • Reduce TDS rates for individuals to 5% from current 10%
  • I-T dept should not delay tax refund due beyond six months. A higher interest rate should be applicable in case of delay in refunds beyond six months
  • Exempt NRIs not having a Permanent Account Number, but seeking to provide their Tax Identification Number for applicability of TDS at a higher rate
  • Defer contentious Income Computation and Disclosure Standards provisions

Source : http://goo.gl/gt9KMd

NTH :: Labour ministry asks EPFO, ESIC not to inspect startups for 3 years

PTI | Jan 25, 2016 16:55 IST | FirstPost

NTH

New Delhi: The Labour Ministry has directed retirement fund body EPFO and health insurance provider ESIC to exempt startups from inspection and filing returns for 3 years.

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to nurture startups, the ministry said in a set of directions last week that the new age ventures should be allowed to self-certify their compliance with 9 labour laws.

Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal in a letter said startups should not be inspected or asked to file returns for 3 years under 9 laws including Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act and the Employees State Insurance Act.

“Promoting startups would need special hand holding and nurturing. Thus, such ventures may be allowed to self-certify compliance with the Labour Laws,” he added.

They will be exempted from inspection under the Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, Payment of Gratuity Act and Contract Labour Act.

Startups will also be exempted from filing returns under the Industrial Disputes Act, Building and other Construction Workers Act, Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, Contract Labour Act, EPF Act and ESI Act.

There will be a blanket exemption from inspection and filing returns for the first year and would be asked to file an online self declaration form.

They will also not be asked to file return or inspected for the next two years, but will be inspected in case a “very credible and verifiable” complaint of violation is filed in writing and the approval has been obtained from the Central Analysis and Intelligence Unit (CAIU), Aggarwal said.

Except the EPF and Miscellaneous Provisions Act and the ESI Act, the implementation of other seven laws lies in both central and state government’s sphere.

Labour Ministry had directed its officials as well as the EPFO and ESIC to regulate inspection of startups, under laws which lie in the centre’s sphere.

Source : http://goo.gl/9H9uch

ATM:: 9 smart ways to save tax

Babar Zaidi | TNN | Jan 11, 2016, 08.57 AM IST | Times of India

ATM

Do-it-yourself tax planning can be rewarding and challenging. Rewarding, because you can choose the tax-saving instrument that best suits your needs. Challenging, because if you make the wrong choice, you are stuck with an unsuitable investment for at least 3-5 years. This is where our annual ranking of best tax-saving options can prove helpful. It assesses all the investment options on seven key parameters—returns, safety, flexibility, liquidity, costs, transparency and taxability of income. Each parameter is given equal weightage and a composite score is worked out for the various tax-saving options.

While the ranking is based on a robust methodology, your choice should also take into account your requirements and financial goals. We consider the pros and cons of each option and tell you which instrument is best suited for taxpayers in different situations and lifestages. We hope it will help you make an informed choice. Happy investing!

ELSS FUNDS
ELSS funds top our ranking because of their tremendous potential, high liquidity and transparency. The ELSS category has given average returns of 17.8% in the past 3 years. The 3-year lock-in period is the shortest for any Section 80C option.

If you have already fulfilled KYC requirements, you can invest online. Even if you are a new investor, fund houses facilitate the investment by picking up documents from your house and guiding you through the KYC screening. ELSS funds are equity schemes and carry the same market risk as any other diversified fund. Last year was not good for equities, and even top-rated ELSS funds lost money. However, the funds are miles ahead of PPF in 3- and 5-year returns.

The SIP route is the best way to contain the risk of investing in equity funds. However, with just three months left for the financial year to end, at best, a taxpayer will manage 2-3 SIPs before 31 March. Since valuations are not stretched right now, one can put in a bigger amount.
SMART TIP
Opt for the direct plan. Returns are higher because charges are lower.

ULIP
The new online Ulips are ultra cheap, with some of them costing even less than direct mutual funds. They also offer greater flexibility. Unlike ELSS funds, where the investment cannot be touched for three years, Ulip investors can switch their corpus from equity to debt, and vice versa. What’s more, there is no tax implication of gains made from switching because insurance plans enjoy exemption under Section 10 (10d). Even so, only savvy investors who know how to use the switching facility should get in.
SMART TIP
Opt for liquid or debt funds of the Ulip and gradually shift the money to the equity fund.

NPS
The last Budget made the NPS attractive as a tax-saving tool by offering an additional tax deduction of Rs 50,000. Also, pension fund managers have been allowed to invest in a larger basket of stocks.

Concerns remain about the cap on equity exposure. Besides, the taxability of the NPS on maturity is a sore point. At least 40% of the corpus must be put in an annuity. Right now, the income from annuities is taxed at the normal rate.
SMART TIP
Opt for the auto choice where the equity exposure is linked to age and comes down as you grow older.

PPF AND VPF
It’s been almost four years since the PPF rate was linked to the benchmark bond yield. But bond yields have stayed buoyant and the PPF rate has not fallen. However, the government has indicated that it will review the interest rates on small savings schemes, including PPF and NSCs. If this is a worry, opt for the Voluntary Provident Fund. It offers that same interest rate and tax benefits as the EPF. There is no limit to how much you can invest in the VPF. The contribution gets deducted from the salary itself so the investor does not even feel it go.
SMART TIP
Allocate 25% of your pay hike to VPF. You won’t notice the deduction.

SUKANYA SAMRIDDHI SCHEME
This scheme for the girl child is a great way to save tax. It is open only to girls below 10. If you have a daughter that old, the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is a better option than bank deposits, child plans and even the PPF account. Accounts can be opened in any post office or designated branches of PSU banks with a minimum Rs 1,000. The maximum investment in a financial year is Rs 1.5 lakh and deposits can be made for 14 years. The account matures when the girl turns 21, though up to 50% of the corpus can be withdrawn after she turns 18.
SMART TIP
Instead of PPF, put money in the Sukanya scheme and earn 50 bps more.

SENIOR CITIZENS’ SCHEME This is the best tax-saving instrument for retirees. At 9.3%, it offers the highest interest rate among all Post Office schemes. The tenure is 5 years, extendable by 3 years. Interest is paid quarterly on fixed dates. However, there is a Rs 15 lakh overall investment limit.
SMART TIP
If you want ot invest more than Rs 15 lakh, gift the amount to your spouse and invest in her name.

BANK FDS AND NSCs
Though bank FDs and NSCs offer assured returns, the interest earned on the deposits is fully taxable. They are best suited to taxpayers in the 10% bracket or senior citizens who have exhausted the Rs 15 lakh limit in the Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme.
SMART TIP
Invest in FDs and NSCs if you don’t have time to assess the other options and the deadline is near.

PENSION PLANS
Pension plans from insurance companies still have high charges which makes them poor investments. They also force the investor to put a larger portion (66%) of the corpus in an annuity. The prevailing annuity rates are not very attractive. Pension plans launched by mutual funds have lower charges, but are MFs disguised as pension plans. Moreover, they are debtoriented plans so they are not eligible for tax benefits that equity plans enjoy.
SMART TIP
Invest in plans from mutual funds. They offer greater flexibility than those from life insurers.

INSURANCE POLICIES
Traditional life insurance policies remain the worst way to save tax. Still, millions of taxpayers buy these policies every year, lured by the “triple benefits” of life insurance cover, longterm savings and tax benefits. Actually, these policies give very little cover. A premium of Rs 20,000 a year will get you a cover of roughly Rs 2 lakh. The returns are very poor, barely 6% if you opt for a 20-year plan. And the tax-free income is a sham. Going by the indexation rule, if the returns are below the inflation rate, the income should anyway be tax free. The problem is that once you sign up for these policies, they become millstones around your neck.
SMART TIP
If you can’t afford to pay the premium, turn your insurance plan into a paid-up policy.

Source: http://goo.gl/DWqo4K

ATM :: Five Reasons Why You Can Get an Income Tax Notice

Written by Renu Yadav | Last Updated: December 22, 2015 09:06 (IST) | NDTV Profit

ATM

Receiving an income tax notice can be scary for most people. From not filing returns to hiding interest income, the reasons can vary for attracting a notice. Avoid these most common mistakes if you don’t want to get an income tax notice.

1) Not filing income tax returns

According to income tax law, if your gross income (without any deductions) is above the exempted limit of Rs 2.5 lakh in case of individuals, Rs 3 lakh for senior citizens (60-80 years of age) and Rs 5 lakh for super seniors (above 80 years), you are liable to file a tax return. Also, irrespective of the fact that your employer has deducted the tax at source (TDS) or not, you have to file an income tax return. Many people also believe that since they don’t have a tax refund to claim, they don’t need to file return. But that’s a misconception.

According to Preeti Khurana, chief editor of Cleartax.in, “If you are a resident Indian and you own a foreign asset or are a signing authority in a foreign bank account, you have to file an income tax return irrespective of your income.” If you fail to do so, you may get a notice from the income tax department, she added.

2) TDS errors

If there is mismatch between the TDS deposited by your employer and the income tax return filed by you, you may get an income tax notice. You should always check your tax credit statement (Form 26AS) online before filing the return. If a wrong TDS has been credited to your account or it has been credited to a wrong PAN, despite it being deducted from your salary, you can come under scrutiny.

3) Hiding interest income

Many people knowingly or unknowingly don’t include the interest income from their saving account, fixed deposits and recurring deposits in their income tax returns. The interest from saving account up to Rs 10,000 is tax deductible under Section 80 TTA while interest on fixed deposits and recurring deposits is fully taxable. In case of fixed deposits and recurring deposit, a TDS will be deducted in case the interest income exceeds Rs 10,000 in a financial year. But whether the interest is taxable or not, you have to disclose all your interest income in your tax return. So reveal the interest income in your return and then avail the deduction if any. Not doing so can result in a tax notice.

4) Mismatch or concealment of income

If your actual income, expenditure or investments differ from the one declared in your income tax return, you can get an income tax notice under Section 143(3)/143(7). You would be asked to provide clarifications and documents for re-calculation of your income.

“Notice is issued when tax authorities are of the opinion that you have concealed a part of your income while filing your return of income. Penalty for concealment of income can be up to a maximum of 300 per cent of tax payable.” says Neha Malhotra, executive director of taxation at Nangia & Co.

“The tax authorities can send notices pertaining to years gone by as well. So it is advisable to preserve the tax records for eight years, but where the assessee has any asset situated outside India, he should preserve the documents for past 18 years,” she said.

5) Defective income tax return

You should be careful while filing your income tax return. If the income tax authorities find any error they can issue a notice to you under Section 139(9) and direct you to file a revised return on income after correcting the error.

Source : http://goo.gl/9F1yT1

NTH :: Income tax refunds to be sent to taxpayers in 7-10 days after Aadhaar card success

In what could be a good news for lakhs of taxpayers, the Income Tax Department will now process and send income tax refunds in a short time of 7-10 days as its latest technology upgrade of electronic and Aadhaar-based ITR verification has begun on a successful note.
By: PTI | New Delhi | First Published on September 13, 2015 2:57 pm | Financial Express

NTH

In what could be a good news for lakhs of taxpayers, the Income Tax Department will now process and send income tax refunds in a short time of 7-10 days as its latest technology upgrade of electronic and Aadhaar-based ITR verification has begun on a successful note.

The department’s latest initiative to verify an Income Tax Return (ITR) by Aadhaar or other bank database has received positive response from ITR filers because of which the taxman, for Assessment Year 2015-16, was able to process and send refunds to bank accounts of eligible taxpayers in less than 15 days time.

“The days are gone when getting an Income-Tax refund used to take months or in some cases even a few years. The new electronic verification e-filing system has proved to be very customer-friendly and as a token of thanks to the taxpayers, the department is working to ensure their refunds are sent in a week’s time or a maximum of ten days.

“This is surely the way forward in the administration of tax affairs in the country,” a top officer of the Income-Tax Department involved in these operations said.

According to latest statistics, the department received 2.06 crore returns on its e-filing portal as on September 7, 2015 (last date for ITR filing), which is an increase of 26.12 per cent over the last year when 1.63 crore returns were filed online.

The department’s Central Processing Centre (CPC) as on September 7 processed 45.18 lakh returns and issued refunds to 22.14 lakh tax payers relating to assessment year 2015-16, it added.

During this period, the department electronically verified over 32.95 lakh e-returns.

The data added that peak filing rate touched 3,475 returns per minute this time as compared to 2,901 returns per minute last year.

As per some testimonials received by the department from taxpayers, also accessed by PTI, many have reported that they received their refunds in only 11 or 13 days time from the day of filing their ITR.

Source: http://goo.gl/MsrlnC