While speaking on the event, the PM said that the process of Structural Reform in the nation has achieved new heights now. The honorable man said the platform of Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest, has been introduced to meet the requirements of the modern 21st-century’s taxation system. He further described that this platform has major reforms like Taxpayers Charter, Faceless Appeal, and Faceless Assessment.
He mentioned that these Taxpayers Charter and Faceless Assessment have been enforced from that very day and while the availability of another facility of faceless appeal will be from 25th of September for citizens across the nation because that is the day of Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary. Apart from being faceless, the new platform also aims at boosting the confidence of the taxpayer and make sure that they feel fearless.
According to the Prime Minister, in the last 6 years of his term as a PM, the Government has been constantly keeping the focus on “Banking the Unbanked, Securing the Unsecured and Funding the Unfunded” and this platform of “Honouring the Honest” will be leading on the similar track.
The role of honest taxpayers is essential for nation-building and deserves appreciation. PM Modi did acknowledge the same and praised them and he said that making the lives of such taxpayers easier is the government’s responsibility. He added that “When the life of an honest taxpayer of the country becomes easy, he moves forward and develops, then the country also develops and leaps forward.”
Mr. Modi said that the new facilities launched are a part of the Government’s solution for providing maximum governance with minimum government. He also said that each and every rule, law, and policy are constructed by emphasizing on them being people-centric, public-friendly rather than being power centric. According to him, the utilization of the novel governance model is yielding well consequences.
The Atmosphere Creation is being done where primacy is being provided to duty to execute all works, said the Prime Minister. This is the result because of an evolving understanding of the holistic approach that is being adopted and not because of force and fear of punishment. He said that the Government is launching reforms that are aimed at delivering results with a holistic perspective and not in piecemeal.
Modi further said fundamental reforms were needed by the tax structure of the country as the previous tax structure was developed from the one created during the pre-independent era. Even after making changes during the post-independent era, its fundamental character did not alter. According to Modi, the complexity of the earlier system did make it difficult for confirmation. Simplification in laws and procedures will make it easy to comply. For example, the introduction of GST replaced dozens of taxes.
PM Modi said that the latest laws did reduce the legal burden from the tax system where now the limit of filing cases in the High Court has been fixed at up to Rupees one crore i.e. 0.14 million US dollars and up to Rupees two crore i.e. 0.28 million US dollars for filing case in the Supreme Court. Initiatives such as Vivaad Se Vishwas Scheme pave the way for most of the cases for settling cases out of court.
Prime Minister mentioned that the tax slabs have also been rationalized as a part of the ongoing reforms where there is zero tax up to an income of Rupees five lakh i.e. 7,093.20 US dollars, and on the other hand the tax rate has been reduced in the remaining slabs too. He said that India is one of the countries with the lowest Corporate Tax in comparison to the whole world.
The PM further said that the ongoing reforms are aiming to make the tax system Painless, Seamless, Faceless. According to him, the Seamless system is working to resolve the problems of a taxpayer rather than entangling them further. By being Painless it is meant that everything from technology to rules should be simplified. Referring to the Faceless system, there is no requirement for direct contact between the Taxpayer and the Income Tax Officer in every matter of scrutiny, notice, survey, or assessment.
The PM then referred to the launch of the Taxpayers Charter and said that it is a significant step where the taxpayers now are assured of fair, rational behavior, and courteous. He further described that the charter takes care of maintaining the sensitivity and dignity of the taxpayer and that is based on a trust factor and that the assessee cannot be merely doubted without any reason.
By referring to the reduction of the scrutiny of the cases by at least 4 times in the past 6 years from 0.94% in the period of 2012-13 to 0.26% in the span of 2018-19, Modi said this itself is a reflection of the trust that the Government is laying on the returnees. He also said that in the last 6 years, the nation has witnessed a new model of governance that has evolved in tax administration. Amidst all these efforts, the count of people filing income tax returns has increased by about two and a half crores in the last 6-7 years.
Modi however, disappointedly said that it can also not be refused that only one and a half crore people pay the taxes in a country with a population of more than 135 crores. Prime Minister urged people of the country to introspect themselves and step forward to pay the taxes due.
The Prime Minister believes that this step will empower the vision of Self-Reliant India, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat.