March 31, 2020
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The Union Budget 2020-21 is round the corner, set to be tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. The budget is expected to take into consideration a slew of economic and fiscal measures which may give a fillip to India’s economic growth.KPMG conducted a pre-Budget survey in January 2020, with over 215 respondents across sectors. The firm has tried to capture the expectations of important stakeholders on key tax aspects of the Budget.According to the survey, more than half the respondents plan to opt for the lower tax slab of 22 percent, by giving up available incentives from FY 2019-20.In 2019, the government had implemented major tax cuts for domestic companies to 22 percent and for newly setup manufacturing companies to 15 percent subject to their giving up available incentives and deductions.A majority of respondents feel that tax rates for foreign companies should also be reduced in light of the tax cuts for domestic companies.Further, on the direct tax front, a stimulus by way of personal tax cuts is also an expectation from the forthcoming Budget.As per the survey, several respondents expect the basic exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh for individuals to be hiked.People also expect an increase in the income limit at which the maximum marginal rate (MMR) of 30 percent sets in.The maximum marginal rate is defined as the rate of income tax applicable in relation to the highest slab of income in case of an individual, an Association of Persons (AOP) and a Body of Individuals (BOI).In 1997-98, the maximum marginal rate was brought down to 30 percent, after which there have not been any changes. However, the surcharge has been tinkered with over the years, pushing up the effective rate of tax on income above Rs 5 crore to about 42.7 percent.”If implemented, this can help spur consumer demand by complementing the interest rate cuts delivered since last year,” KPMG India said in its survey report.A majority of respondents also believe that the Inheritance Tax may not be introduced in the upcoming Budget. This is in line with the overall expectation of the need to provide a fiscal stimulus by reducing taxes on individuals.The survey also showed that about 50 percent of the respondents expect the tax holiday for exports available to SEZ (Special Economic Zone) units to be extended to units set up beyond March 31, 2020.On the capital markets front, the reintroduction of long term capital gains tax on listed securities in 2018 got a lot of flak from market participants. Around 52 percent of the respondents felt it should be rolled back.Similarly, the survey received a muted response to the scrapping of the Securities Transaction Tax (STT), with only 41 percent in favour of its abolition.Commenting on the findings of the survey  Hitesh D Gajaria, Partner and Co-Head, Tax, KPMG in India said, “Our Pre-Budget Survey indicates that rate cuts for individuals is the most wanted item for everyone. This is in line with expectations that lower tax rates for individuals, along with the corporate tax rate cuts enacted last year, will boost spending and investment in the economy.”Get access to India’s fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code “GETPRO”. Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.
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