New Delhi: With the present Income Tax Act proposed to be replaced by the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) next year, the I-T department is planning to introduce a host of services related to processing of tax returns and refunds in the current fiscal.
The department will also observe 150 years of the introduction of the first ever I-T Act in 1860, as it will celebrate the ‘Income Tax day´ on 24 July this year.
The event is likely to be inaugurated by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who will also lay out a roadmap of the department for the future.
“This is the last year of the 1961 Income Tax Act. This year, a number of taxpayer programmes of the department can be initiated and completed,” CBDT member (revenue) Durgesh Shankar told PTI.
The department, this fiscal, is planning to set up an independent Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) directorate, while fast processing of tax returns and technological upgrade of tax refunds are the other core issues, he said.
The revenue accrued from TDS has been constantly growing over the years and with the increase in the number of service organizations across the country, the share from under this category of taxes is bound to grow, Shankar said.
According to estimates, the TDS revenue contributes almost 40% to the direct taxes kitty.
Programmes like the Refund Banker scheme, presently on in 15 cities of the country, will also be extended to other locations this fiscal.
The DTC, aimed at simplifying the tax structure, is proposed to be introduced in April next year and will ultimately replace the Income Tax Act, 1961, bringing all other direct taxes, including wealth tax, under its purview.
Mukherjee had said that if a reasonable level of discussion happens on the code, a bill could be placed in the winter session of Parliament.
According to Finance Ministry records, the first I-T Act was introduced in India in 1860 by James Wilson who became the first finance member of the country. This became necessary since suppression of the 1857 struggle entailed heavy expenditure and made a large addition to public debt.
The Act received the assent of the Governor General on July 24, 1860. It came into effect immediately and was modelled on the English Statute.