New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the government wants to simplify the income tax process, increase compliance and place money in the hands of people.
"We wanted to place money in the hands of the people, particularly the middle class and lower-middle classes. We also wanted to simplify the income tax process and increase compliance," Sitharaman said at a press conference here while speaking on the option of lower income tax rates.
Elaborating on the budget, she said: "To improve consumption demand, private investment, and public spending and since revenue side could not be pressed further, without violating FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management), we had to relax fiscal deficit target by 0.5%."
"Corporate tax cut and benefit derived by new companies, as well as improved GST collections will improve revenue generation and give the comfort to bring down fiscal deficit next year, with disinvestment too improving," the minister said.
Speaking on the changes in the Income Tax Act, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said" "We have made changes in the Income Tax Act where if an Indian citizen stays out of the country for more than 182 days, he becomes a non-resident. So we have made some changes, now in order to become non-resident he has to stay out of the country for 240 days."
"Some people are residents of no country. They may be staying in different countries for a certain number of days. So if any Indian citizen is not a resident of any country in the world, he'll be deemed to be a resident of India and his worldwide income will be taxed," he said.
Earlier today, during her budget speech, Sitharaman had said, "Around 70 of more than 100 income tax deductions and exemptions have been removed, in order to simplify the tax system and lower tax rates." Substantial tax benefit will accrue to individual taxpayers under the new personal income tax regime, she added.