Below is my wishlist to our Honorable finance minster for the coming budget session. Let us hope it reaches the FM and atleast he reads the same. Most of the wishes are related to tax reforms and are aimed at killing the monster called black money which is sucking our country dry.
1. Remove surcharges on income tax. You want our money take it straight why are you giving it funny names?
2. Try to curb black money. Easiest way is to give a sales tax rebate to people paying by credit/debit card or by cheque. The process can be simple if you are paying by an insturment other than cash then automatically the tax payable reduces by a fix percentage. This will encourage people to pay by means that do not contribute to black economy.
3. All returns above 5 lakh per annum should compulsorily be made to be filed electronically. This will speed up the process many times and will also help in processing of refunds.
4. All income tax refunds should be made only electronically through a central processing center and not through the local income tax office. This will again reduce manipulation at local level.
5. Ban 1000 and 500 Rs currency notes. Just imagine the amount of black money you will reduce overnight. Any body making a big ticket purchase should be using credit/debit card or cheque.
6. People buying luxury cars etc should be made to pay advance tax. E.g if you are buying a car worth 22 lakhs and you are fliing a income tax return of 5 lakhs it does not make sense. This will be similar to MAT that the companies are supposed to pay.
7. Encourage people to donate. Currnetly most of the donations get 50% tax benefit under section 80 G, my question is why not 100%? On one side you want companies to spend 2% on CSR on the other hand you are giving only 50% tax benefit to individuals who are voluntarity giving donations. So let us increase the tax benefit to 100% this should encourage more people to donate for social causes.
8. Let there be no distinction between short term capital gains tax for investors and day traders. This is a major grey area and is subject to manipulation by tax authorities. Why give them a chance to harass people. Let the law be totally transparent in this area. Let the tax rate be same for day traders and investors.
9. Actively promote mobile banking. We have one of the largest mobile using population in bank. M-transactions are safe, secure and quick and almost anybody can use it. This will also reduce a lot of black money, specially in the rural economy and more tax will come in governments kitty as any transaction that is electronic can be traced back and you need to pay taxes on the same.
10. Let there be no tax on the income of Army/Navy/Airforce/BSF employees till a particular income say 500000/. This is the least we can do for people who are willing to give their life for the nation. There salary is hardly anythig. This will also encourage more young and dynamic people to join armed forces. If we can have no tax on agriculture income we can as well keep zero tax on income of our armed forces also. A majority of them are anyways from rural background.
11. All listed and unlisted companies should declare the names of people in public office if they own more than 1% of the stocks. Public office should include government jobs, member of any elected body and there immediate family members.
12. Let the government work closely with the Swiss and other governments to get all money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks back to India.
This is obiously not the final list and am pretty sure none of them will be met in near future. But would love to hear your wish list for the finacne minister. You can add your wish list in the comments section.