Visakhapatnam: Need to tweak Income Tax Act, says trade body

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Current Affairs

President of AP Chamber of Commerce G. Sambasiva Rao said that there was a need for amending the age-old laws introduced by the British.

Income Tax

Visakhapatnam: The AP Chamber of Commerce feels that there is a need to amend the Income Tax Act.

In light of the suicide of Cafe Coffee Day founder V.G. Siddhartha, the Chamber feels that the Income Tax rules are resulting in acute mental pressure on businessmen.

After Vijaya Mallya opened up on harassment of the officials of the Income Tax department, many other businessmen are now coming out on the same lines.

President of AP Chamber of Commerce G. Sambasiva Rao said that there was a need for amending the age-old laws introduced by the British.

The Chamber of Commerce feels that the investments will be gradually decreased in India as the tax rates are much higher than many other countries including the USA. The Chambers of Commerce has earlier represented their problems to the Prime Minister’s Office and again now planning to pursue it.

Mr Sambasiva Rao said, “When department refunds interest rate is 6 per cent for delays. Why should we pay about 12 to 24 per cent when we delay it? The department does not honour or accept any High Court judgements of 29 states in India issued in favour of business except for home state. The average tax rates in India are 20 per cent higher than the global average of 21 per cent. All these are the factors that worry the businessmen and especially the foreign investor.”

He added, “There is a need to immediately amend the Income Tax Act. The GDP rate is growing at 6 per cent and the Central Board of Direct Taxes give a target of 20 per cent growth in tax collection. How can it be possible? There are several companies paying Income Tax without income as the department will ask for the tax on deemed income. These pressures from the Income Tax will collapse many businesses across the country, leaving many people unemployed.”

Director of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce O. Naresh said, “The officials ask for the books that are seven years old that have completed assessments. They can levy interest and penalties. For foreign assets, they can go back 16 years. Most corrupt officials with enormous powers are let loose on business with discretionary powers. The United States to attract investors has reduced the tax from 35 to 21 per cent straightaway while we are continuing to increase the Income Tax.”

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