Middle class can breathe bit easy as tax rate halved


news24in7(IANS) In a major relief to the tax-burdened middle-class people, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday proposed to halve the income tax to five per cent for those earning between Rs 250,000 and Rs 500,000 per annum.

Presenting the 2017-18 Budget in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said he proposes to halve the income tax for persons earning between Rs 2.5 lakh-Rs 5 lakh from the current 10 per cent.

“This will reduce the tax liability of all persons with incomes below Rs 500,000 either to zero (with rebate) or 50 per cent of their existing liability,” Jaitley said.

The existing benefit of rebate available to the same group of beneficiaries is being reduced to Rs 2,500 that is available only to assessees up to an annual income of Rs 350,000.

According to him, the combined effect is that there will be nil tax liability for people with incomes of up to Rs 300,000 per annum.

The tax liability will only be Rs 2,500 for people with incomes between Rs 300,000 and Rs 350,000.

If the limit of Rs 150,000 under Section 80C for investment is used fully, the tax would be zero for people with incomes of Rs 450,000.

While the tax liability of people with incomes of up to Rs 500,000 is being reduced to half, all other categories of taxpayers in the subsequent slabs will also get a uniform benefit of Rs 12,500 per person.

“The total amount of tax foregone on account of this measure is Rs 15,500 crore,” Jaitley said.

In an effort to somewhat make good the loss of revenue, Jaitley proposes to levy a surcharge of 10 per cent of tax payable on individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore.

The surcharge will generate additional revenue of Rs 2,500 crore.

The existing surcharge of 15 per cent of the tax on people earning more than Rs 1 crore will continue.

For those with incomes of up to Rs 500,000 — other than business income — Jaitley said a single-page income tax return form will be introduced.

“It is a populist budget for the middle class. The budget proposes to give relief to the middle class while taxing the super-rich,” Neha Malhotra, Executive Director, Nangia & Co., an international tax advisory and accounting firm, told IANS.

“It was a legitimate expectation post-demonetisation that the personal income tax rate will be reduced to soften the tax hit on the pockets of the individuals,” she added.

According to Malhotra, immovable property owners have been relieved by lowering the holding period for availing lower rate of long-term capital gains tax from three years to two years.

“Also, the base year for computing capital indexation benefit has been changed from existing April 1, 1981, to April 1, 2001. This move will give significant relief to the taxpayers earning profits from sale of house property and will encourage investments in the real estate sector,” she said.

Another woe of the taxpayers is that provisions applicable on dishonoured cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act are ineffective.

New effective way to tackle the issue of bounced cheque is a welcome move which shall relieve those facing hardship on these fronts, she added.

–IANS

What is Direct and Indirect Taxes


Direct Taxes
The most fundamental classification of taxes is based on who collects the taxes from the tax payer.
Direct Taxes, as the name suggests, are taxes that are directly paid to the government by the taxpayer. It is a tax applied on individuals and organizations directly by the government e.g. income tax, corporation tax, wealth tax etc.

Indirect Taxes are applied on the manufacture or sale of goods and services. These are initially paid to the government by an intermediary, who then adds the amount of the tax paid to the value of the goods / services and passes on the total amount to the end user.
Examples of these are sales tax, service tax, excise duty etc.
How do these important Direct and Indirect Taxes affect you?

DIRECT TAXES

 

Income Tax

Income Tax is paid by an individual based on his/her taxable income in a given financial year. Under the Income Tax Act, the term ‘individual’ also includes Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), Co-operative Societies, Trusts and any artificial judicial person. Taxable income refers to total income minus applicable deductions and exemptions.
Tax is payable if the taxable is above the minimum taxable limit and is paid as per the differing rates announced for each tax slab for the financial year.

Capital Gains Tax
The profits made on sale of property are taxable under Capital Gains Tax. Property here includes stocks, bonds, residential property, precious metals etc. It is taxed at two different rates based on how long the property was owned by the taxpayer – Short Term Capital Gains Tax and Long Term Capital Gains Tax. This deciding period of ownership varies greatly for different classes of property.

Wealth Tax

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Wealth tax is applicable on individuals, HUFs or companies on the value of their assets in a given financial year on the date of valuation. It is taxed at the rate of 1% of the net wealth of any assesse exceeding Rs 30,00,000.
‘Net wealth’ here includes, unproductive assets like cash in hand above Rs 50,000, second residential property not rented out, cars, gold jewellery or bullion, boats, yachts, aircrafts or urban land. It does not include productive assets like commercial property, stocks, bonds, fixed deposits, mutual funds etc.

Corporation Tax
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Corporation Tax is paid by Companies and Businesses operating in India on the income earned worldwide in a given financial year. The rates of taxation vary based on whether the company is incorporated in India or abroad

INDIRECT TAXES

Sales Tax

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Sales Tax is charged on the sale of movable goods. It is collected by the Central Government in case of inter-state sales (Central Sales Tax or CST) and by the State Government for intra-state sales (Value Added Tax or VAT). The rates of taxation vary depending on the product type.

Excise Duty

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Excise duty is applicable on the manufacture of goods sold in India. Once goods are manufactured, it is originally paid by the manufacturer directly to the Central Government. When the goods change hands from the manufacturer to the buyer, this tax is bundled by the manufacturer along with the cost of goods and passed on to the buyer.

Service Tax

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Service tax is applicable on all services provided in India except a specified negative list of services that are exempt. It is paid by the service provider to the government who in turn collects it from the end user by the service provider at the time of provision of such service.

Source: Yahoo