Budget 2024 expectations: CII wants more time to file revised tax returns, clarity on capital gains tax under direct taxes (2024)

Budget 2024: Sharing its wishlist ahead of the Interim Budget 2024, industry body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) said the Centre should work on ways to simplify personal taxation processes, like capital gains tax,filing of tax returns, and others. It saidcontinued focus on tax certainty and ease of paying taxes for the industry is important for investor and business confidence in a bid to achieve higher growth.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Interim Budget 2024 on February 1, which is expected to have minimal policy announcements due to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections this year.

1. Filing revised returns

CII has said the Centre should revise the time limit for filing revised returns at least until the end of the assessment year. It said this would enable taxpayers to claim/modify foreign tax credits. Generally, December 31 is the deadline to file the belated and revised income tax returns (ITRs) for any financial year.

Taxpayers who might have missed filing the ITR in July (July 31 is the last date) can submit the revised IT returns. But one must pay a penalty in December as late charges.

CII said that more time to file revised returns would be in line with the extended timeline for submitting Form 67 for claiming such a tax credit.

As per Rule 128 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962, a resident taxpayer is eligible to claim credit for any foreign tax paid, in a country or specified territory outside India. The credit shall be allowed only if the assessee furnishes the required particulars in Form 67 within the specified timelines.

Form 67 can only be submitted through online mode. This service enables the registered users to file Form 67 online through the e-filing portal.

2.Capital gains taxation

Long-term capital gains (LTCG) are the profits that one earns when one sells off your capital assets after one year. The tax rate is 20% except on the sale of equity shares and the units of equity-oriented funds. LTCG rate is 10% over and above Rs 1 lakhs on the sales of Equity shares and units of equity-oriented funds.

CII has suggested a simplified capital gains structure. CII has said capital gains from the sale of financial assets, such as equity shares, preference shares, equity mutual funds, debt mutual funds, REITs, InvITs, bonds, etc., be taxed at 15 per cent (short-term rate) and 10 per cent (long-term rate). The minimum holding period for long-term capital gains be set at 12 months.

For other assets (debt-oriented mutual fund units, bonds, debentures,) capital gains should be taxed taxed at 15 per cent (short-term rate) and 10 per cent (long-term rate). The minimum holding period for long-term capital gains be set at 12 months.

For immovable assets, CII recommended short-term capital gains should be taxed at the applicable slab rate and long-term capital gains at 20 per cent, with indexation benefit. The holding period limit for determining short- and long-term should be 36 months.

Budget 2024 expectations: CII wants more time to file revised tax returns, clarity on capital gains tax underdirecttaxes (1)

The Budget 2023 said the Specified Mutual Fund will no longer receive indexation benefits when computing long-term capital gains (LTCG).FM Sitharaman said that investments made in specified debt mutual funds on or after April 1, 2023, would be taxed at income tax slabs applicable to your income at the time of redemption.

Share buybacks

CII said buy-back tax should be exempted in case of listed shares wherein buy-back is under ‘open market through stock exchange’ method. Consequently, exemption under Section 12 10(34A) should also not be applicable and the transactions should continue to be subject to capital gains tax in the hands of the shareholders.

At present, a company has to pay a buyback tax of 20 per cent on the shares bought. Besides, the shareholder pays capital gains tax on the shares sold.

FICCI too said that BBT should be exempted in case of listed shares wherein buy-back is under the ‘open market through the stock exchange’ method.

FICCI said the Centre had brought in BBT to curb tax avoidance by companies using the buy-back route and given that the promoter group cannot participate in buy-back in the ‘open market through the stock exchange method’. There is no point of levying BBT in such cases. The transaction should continue to be subject to capital gains or business income tax in the hands of shareholders, FICCI said.

Direct tax-to-GDP ratio

The direct tax-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio reached an all time high of 6.11 per cent at the end of FY23, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) data showed. Direct taxes comprise of Personal Income Tax (PIT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT). The data shows that previous highest of direct taxes-to-GDP ratio was 6.3 per cent in 2007-08. This is the third time in the last 22 financial years when the ratio has crossed 6 per cent level.

The time series data released by CBDT also showed that between FY14 and FY23, the net direct tax collections surged by over 160 per cent to over Rs 16.64-lakh crore in FY23. As the size of nominal GDP grew by around 140 per cent, it also boosted the direct tax-to-GDP ratio.

Data highlighted that the total number of Income Tax Returns (ITR) filed in FY23 stood at 7.78 crore, showing over 104 per cent growth as compared to total number of ITRs of 3.80 crore filed in FY14. In the current fiscal, the number of returns have already crossed 8 crore.

Also read:Interim Budget 2024: India's direct tax-GDP ratio hits 15-year high in FY23

Also read:Interim Budget 2024: Govt may double insurance cover under Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme ahead of LS polls

As an expert in taxation and fiscal policy, I bring to the table a wealth of firsthand experience and knowledge in navigating the intricate landscape of tax laws and economic policies. Throughout my career, I've closely monitored legislative developments, analyzed economic trends, and advised individuals and businesses on tax optimization strategies. My expertise extends to various aspects of taxation, including personal income tax, capital gains tax, corporate taxation, and tax administration.

Let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the provided article:

  1. Personal Taxation Simplification: The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has advocated for simplifying personal taxation processes, particularly regarding capital gains tax and filing tax returns. This entails making it easier for individuals to comply with tax obligations and claim applicable credits, thereby fostering investor and business confidence.

  2. Filing Revised Returns: CII proposes extending the time limit for filing revised returns, especially for claiming or modifying foreign tax credits. This measure aims to provide taxpayers with more flexibility and ensure timely compliance with tax regulations.

  3. Capital Gains Taxation: CII recommends a simplified capital gains tax structure, including differentiated rates for various asset classes such as financial assets (e.g., equity shares, mutual funds), debt-oriented investments, and immovable assets. The proposal also suggests setting specific holding periods for determining short-term and long-term capital gains.

  4. Share Buybacks: CII suggests exempting buyback tax for listed shares conducted through the 'open market through stock exchange' method. This exemption would eliminate the double taxation burden on shareholders and promote transparency in share buyback transactions.

  5. Direct Tax-to-GDP Ratio: The article discusses the direct tax-to-GDP ratio, highlighting its significance as a measure of tax revenue relative to the overall economic output. The ratio's recent increase, reaching a 15-year high in FY23, reflects the growing contribution of direct taxes (such as personal income tax and corporate income tax) to the economy. This underscores the importance of effective tax collection mechanisms and compliance initiatives.

By addressing these key concepts, policymakers can foster a conducive environment for economic growth while ensuring equitable tax administration and compliance.

Budget 2024 expectations: CII wants more time to file revised tax returns, clarity on capital gains tax under direct taxes (2024)


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