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Rs 14.10 lakh crore of taxes collected this year shows that more and more people are complying with the law voluntarily: Shri Kamlesh Varshney

18 May 2022, New Delhi: “This year we have collected Rs 14.10 lakh crore of taxes. I am really thankful to all the taxpayers because it’s reflection of the fact that more people are getting aware of their tax responsibility and understanding the importance of TDS (Tax Deducted at Source),” said Shri Kamlesh Varshney, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Ministry of Finance Joint Secretary at the national seminar on Tax Deduction at Source (TDS). The event was organised by the apex industry body, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Shri Varshney stressed that there should be a movement to make people realise that tax is your responsibility for nation-building. He said, “It is not something that you have to do because the law requires you to do, but as a citizen of your country it is your responsibility to pay taxes in nation-building. A good collection this year is a reflection of the fact that more people are coming into the formal economy and more people are paying their taxes. And TDS has played a major role in that.”

While giving details on how the TDS operates, the Joint Secretary of CBDT stated one should avoid comparing India with other countries, which are formal economies and have few TDS provisions for resident taxpayers. “India still has a large cash economy and we are moving in that direction, but have not yet reached that stage where most people pay their taxes voluntarily.”

To encourage voluntary compliance, the government plans to initiate an e-verification scheme in the next few months. Giving details, Shri Varshney said, “With e-verification scheme, what we plan to do is that the information we have gathered will be given to you about like your spendings, credit card usage, amount won on gamings etc. We are moving away from that stage where whenever we receive information, we reopen your case. The idea is we will do the reopening in the third year.

“For the first two years, it will convey electronically that this is the information. The taxpayer can reply that he has already included this in tax return or it can file updated return, which is why the provision of updation of return was introduced this year. The whole idea is to give an opportunity to clean up on your own, so that we don't have to reopen your assessments. This is something which is going to help in voluntary compliance and tax collection.”

He also said that implementing new TDS provisions like 194-O and 194R will always involve its share of complexities, however they are necessary and Government would issue circular to remove difficulty. “One good thing that has happened in the last two-three years is that the Parliament has delegated power to CBDT to issue circular to remove difficulty in implementing various TDS provisions.

He also said that it is not wise to keep finding ways to avoid paying TDS. “At the end of the day, we have to think whether we are doing service to our country. That is important and should be our ultimate goal,” he concluded.

Mr. Vikas Vasal Co chair, Direct taxes council said, A fine balance should be maintained between the revenue collections and ease of doing business, while evaluating the TDS regime. Over the years the scope and ambit of TDS provisions has been widened to cover wide variety of transactions, thereby adding to complexity. A fresh look at the TDS regime, adopting some revenue neutral measures and reducing the compliance burden will go a long way to further support the businesses especially MSMEs.

The other key panellists who all were there  Mr. Shri Rahul Garg, Chairman, National Council on Direct Taxes, ASSOCHAM; Mr. Vikas Vasal, Co-Chairman, National Council on Direct Taxes, ASSOCHAM; Mr. Saurrav Sood, Practice Leader-Tax, SW India; Mr. Basudev Mukherjee, Assistant Secretary General, ASSOCHAM; Mr. Manish Khurana, Chartered Accountant; Ms. Preeti Khurana, Director - Regulation and Advocacy, Clear; Mr. Sameer Gogia, Director-Tax, Deloitte; Mr. Kuldip Kumar, Partner, Global Mobility, Vialto Partners; Mr. Pushpendra Dixit, Global Head Tax, PVR Cinemas Group; Mr. Sujay Paul, Chartered Accountant; Mr. Ashish Jain, GM- Taxation, B9 Beverages Pvt Ltd (Bira); Ms. Divya Mittal, Head-Direct Tax, Maruti Suzuki India. 

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