DTC: I-T exemption limit should be raised to Rs 3 lakh, says panel

 New Delhi: Ahead of the Budget, a Parliamentary panel that scrutinised the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill has suggested that income tax exemption limit be raised to Rs 3 lakh per annum, and the investment limit for tax savings schemes be hiked to Rs 3.20 lakh.

The report will pave the way for debate and passage of the DTC Bill, which seeks to replace the Income Tax Act, 1961, by Parliament.

In its report, which was submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today, the Standing Committee on Finance suggested that the wealth tax limit be pegged at Rs 5 crore, while the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) be abolished.

As regards the corporate tax, the Committee, which is headed by senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, recommended that the rate be retained at 30 per cent.

The report will pave the way for debate and passage of the DTC Bill, which seeks to replace the Income Tax Act, 1961, by Parliament.

Besides hiking the income tax exemption to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 1.8 lakh at present, the Standing Committee also suggested that 10 percent tax be levied on taxable income between Rs 3-10 lakh, 20 percent between 10-20 lakh and 30 percent over Rs 20 lakh.

At present, 10 percent tax levied on income between Rs 1.8-5 lakh, 20 percent on income between Rs 5-8 lakh and 30 percent above Rs 8 lakh.

The DTC has proposed income tax exemption limit at Rs 2 lakh, 10 percent between Rs 2-5 lakh, 20 percent Rs 5-10 lakh and 30 per cent above Rs 10 lakh.

With regard to tax savings scheme, the panel has proposed to raise the total tax exemptions limit under various scheme to Rs 3.2 lakh from existing Rs 1.8 lakh and Rs 2 lakh suggested by the DTC.

With regard to the wealth tax, the committee suggested that it should be levied only if the value of specified asset exceeds Rs 5 crore as against Rs 30 lakh currently and Rs crore suggested by the proposed DTC Bill.

As regards the rate, it said, the wealth tax should be charged at 0.5 per cent on assets between Rs 5-20 crore, 0.7 percent on assets between Rs 20-50 crore and 1 percent above Rs 50 crore. The wealth tax rate now is 1 percent.

The DTC Bill, which seeks to modernise the direct tax structure in the country, was referred to the Parliamentary Committee in August 2010.

The government, pending approval of the DTC Bill by Parliament, is likely to introduce some measures concerning taxes in the forthcoming Budget itself to be presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha on March 16.

The Budget Session of Parliament will begin on March 12 with President Pratibha Patil addressing the joint sitting of Members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

PTI

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