New Delhi, July 2, 2017

After the historic GST, the government may soon take up an overhaul of income tax laws. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hinted at a revisit to the Direct Taxes Code (DTC).

The finance ministry mandarins said the Prime Minister’s comment that Albert Einstein too found it difficult to understand India's income tax laws is being taken as the beginning of an overhaul of complex income tax laws.

“Once Albert Einstein, an eminent scientist had said that the most complex thing to understand in this world is Income tax. I was wondering if he was present here then how he would have reacted looking at the plethora of taxes,” Modi had said addressing a huge gathering of lawmakers, industry and prominent citizens from social sector soon after launching GST from the Central Hall of Parliament on late Friday night.

His remark came close on the heels of a come Parliamentary Committee on Finance urging the government to implement DTC within a stipulated deadline along the lines of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

The report of the Standing Committee on Finance which was tabled in Parliament recently went on to say that without implementation of DTC, the intended gains of GST will not be felt.

The Committee headed by senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily said the purpose of a direct tax reform will be defeated that if the government kept on doing piecemeal amendments in income tax laws.

Soon after Modi’s reference, reforms in direct taxation and giving benefits of revenues generated through GST also figured in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comments late on Saturday.

Currently, the government is busy with implementation of GST. Only 48 hours before the launch of independent India’s biggest tax reform, deregistered and ordered closure of more than 1 lakh companies which were found tampering with their accounts after November 8 demonetisation.

Over 3 lakh companies have been identified for action and the government has been collating data on transactions of more such firms post the note ban as part of a broader strategy to clamp down on corruption and black money.

[The Deccan Herald]