As we all know that March is the last month of a financial year, it provides a final chance to make various financial decisions in that particular year. Be it various legal compliances or taking benefit of various income tax saving schemes, March 31 is the last day. Though it is prudent to plan ahead your finances and other important tasks. But, if there is a chance left, one must not miss the last bus.
Important things you need to do before March 31:
Update your Bank Account with KYC
KYC or Know Your Customer details are your credential for a bank or a financial institution. March 31 is the deadline for completing your KYC details with your account. To avoid any disruption in a transaction or get some important due to payment on hold, better to update your KYC ASAP. Submit copies of your documents like address proof, identity proof, PAN card at your bank branch.
Link your Aadhaar with PAN card
Linking your Aadhaar card with your PAN card is now mandatory. The last date for linking the Aadhaar card with the PAN card has been extended up to March 31. If you fail to do so, your PAN card will become inactive after the deadline is over. You won’t be able to make any financial transactions requiring a PAN card. Here are the guidelines for linking your PAN with Aadhaar.
File Income Tax Return
In case you have not filed your income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2020-21 or assessment year 2021-2022, you have still a week to file it. Not filing your income tax return is considered tax evasion and will have consequences. From losing certain tax deduction benefits to facing penalty or imprisonment, one may have to face any of them or all depending on the severity. Also, make sure to verify your ITR after filing it. Otherwise, your ITR will be considered invalid. If your PAN card and Aadhaar is linked, you can e-verify your ITR within seconds.
Calculate Your Income
As discussed earlier, it is important to plan your finances from the beginning of the financial year. However, better late than never. Therefore, make use of these remaining days of March and calculate your gross income for the current FY from different sources, like salary, income from a business, rent, saving etc. After ascertaining your total income, you can plan your taxation. You can choose the old tax regime or the new tax regime depending on which one suits you the best and benefits you the most. In the new tax regime, most of the exemptions and deductions cannot be availed. But, you will pay the income tax at a lower rate. However, in the old regime, a number of exemptions and deductions (more than 70) are available to save tax legally.
Investing for saving tax
In case you decide to avail of the old tax regime, besides some standard deductions and exemptions, you can also make certain investments and saving plans to availa of a deduction of up to Rs 2 lakh under Section 80C. Your investment in the Public Provident Fund, National Pension Scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, ELSS, fixed deposits and availing of life insurance will provide you with the tax-saving benefit. Similarly, availing of health insurance for your family and parents will provide you with additional tax benefits.
After computing, if your net salary is more than Rs 5 lakh, you should pay the advance tax if the liability is more than 10,000. In case you are a salaried employee, your employer should deduct TDS throughout the year in various instalments. Those people whose net income is less than Rs 5 lakh need not pay income tax. However, they too are required to file an ITR after March 31. In case the extra tax is paid or more TDS has happened, one can claim that back at the time of filing ITR.
No cess imposed on Kashmir apples in Union Budget 2021-22
Srinagar, Feb 1: A miss read budget announcement sent chill down the spine of Kashmir orchardists soon after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam proposed Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on a number of commodities including apples. However, no cess has beeen imposed on Kashmir apples in Union Budget 2021-22.
Here is the story:
As some national news portals listed the names of the commodities and percentage of cess to be imposed on them, a number of people wrote Facebook and Twitter posts that 35% cess on apples will have a negative impact on the apple growers.
“The cess, which will be effect (sic) from February 2, will be charged at the rate of 35% on apples. This developed (sic) has sent shockwaves among apple growers of Kashmir,” wrote a Facebook page, which reports and discusses horticulture-related developments.
Misreading the bifurcation of the custom and agriculture cess on the apples, another, such page wrote, “While they have imposed 35% cess on apples, the customs duty has been reduced to 15% from 50%, which will prove double whammy for the local produce.”
However, the proposed cess on various commodities, the Finance Minister has meant, on the customs or excise duty imposed on the imported goods only. While she had not explicitly mentioned ‘imports’, news portals, particularly business news portals, also failed to explain it, which created confusion among the people, particularly the apple orchardists of Kashmir, who are not aware of the taxation jargon.
It was also missed by the people that no tax is imposed on any kind of agriculture goods produced within the country.
The new cess or AIDC introduced by the FM on a number of commodities including apples, liquor and fuel is imposed on imported goods only.
So this makes clear that no cess or any other tax has been imposed on the Kashmir apples.
In fact, the finance minister went ahead to explain that the AIDC won’t even affect the consumers. “While applying the cess, we have taken care not to put additional burden on consumers on most items,” the FM said
The AIDC has been proposed on petrol and diesel. It will be Rs.2.5/litre on petrol and Rs.4/litre on diesel. Consequent to the imposition of AIDC, the Basic Excise Duty (BED) and Special Additional Excise Duty (SAED) on petrol and diesel is being reduced so that consumer does not have to bear any additional burden, Sitharaman said.
Similarly, the 35% cess on apples has been imposed after reducing earlier 50% customs duty to just 15%.
AICD on other commodities:
2.5% on gold, silver and dore bars; 100% on alcoholic beverages; 17.5% on crude palm oil; 20% on crude soyabean and sunflower oil; 1.5% on coal, lignite and peat; 5% on specified fertilisers (urea, etc); 40% on peas; 30% on Kabuli chana; 50% on Bengal Gram/Chick Peas; 20% on Lentil (Mosur); 5% on Cotton.
Vehicles over 8 years old to be charged green tax
Srinagar, Jan 25: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has approved a proposal to levy a ‘Green Tax” on old vehicles which are polluting the environment.
The proposal will now go to the states for consultation before it is formally notified, MORTH said in a statement.
Transport vehicles older than 8 years could be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of fitness certificate, at the rate of 10 to 25 % of road tax.
Personal vehicles to be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of Registration Certification after 15 years.
Public transport vehicles, such as city buses, to be charged lower Green tax.
Higher Green tax (50% of Road Tax) for vehicles being registered in highly polluted cities.
Differential tax, depending on fuel (petrol/diesel) and type of vehicle will be charged.
Vehicles like strong hybrids, electric vehicles and alternate fuels like CNG, ethanol, LPG etc to be exempted.
Vehicles used in farming, such as tractor, harvestor, tiller etc will be also exempted.
Revenue collected from the Green Tax to be kept in a separate account and used for tackling pollution, and for States to set up state-of-art facilities for emission monitoring.
MORTH said it Green Tax will dissuade people from using vehicles which damage the environment and motivate people to switch to newer, less polluting vehicles.
Green tax will reduce the pollution level, and make the polluter pay for pollution, it claimed.
The minister also approved the policy of deregistration and scrapping of vehicles owned by Government department and PSU, which are above 15 years in age. It is to be notified and will come into effect from April 1, 2022.
It is estimated that commercial vehicles, which constitute about 5% of the total vehicle fleet, contribute about 65-70% of total vehicular pollution. The older fleet, typically manufactured before the year 2000 constitute less than 1 % of the total fleet but contributes around 15% of total vehicular pollution. These older vehicles pollute 10-25 times more than modern vehicles.
Centre’s tax collection on petrol, diesel up by 48% to Rs1.96 lakh cr
Excise duty witnessed record hike despite low consumption, falling crude prices
New Delhi, Jan 17: While the pandemic pummelled tax collection across the board, excise duty mop-up jumped 48% in the current fiscal on the back of a record increase in taxes on petrol and diesel, that more than made up for the below normal fuel sales.
Excise duty collection during April-November 2020, was at Rs 1.96 lakh crore (Rs 1,96,342 crore), up from Rs1.33 lakh crore mop-up during the same period in 2019, according to data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
This despite the fact that over 10 million tonnes less diesel – the most used fuel in the country – was sold during the eight months period.
Diesel sales during April-November 2020, stood at 44.9 million tonnes as compared to 55.4 million tonnes a year back, according to data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).
Petrol consumption too was lower at 17.4 million tonnes, compared to 20.4 million tonnes during April-November 2019.
While Goods and Services Tax (GST) apply on most products since its introduction in 2017, oil products and natural gas has been kept out of its preview. Excise duty, which accrues to the centre, and VAT that goes to the state government, are levied on their sale.
Industry sources said the jump in excise duty was primarily because of a record increase in taxes on petrol and diesel during March and May last year.
The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs13 per litre and that on diesel by Rs16 a litre in two tranches to mop up gains arising from international crude oil prices falling to a two-decade low.
With this, the total incidence of excise duty on petrol rose to Rs 32.98 per litre and that on diesel to Rs 31.83 a litre.
In full 2019-20 fiscal (April 2019 to March 2020), excise collection totalled Rs 2,39,599 crore, according to CGA.
Central excise duty makes up 39% of petrol and 42.5% of diesel. After considering local sales tax or VAT, the total tax incidence in the price is about two-thirds of the retail rate.
The excise tax on petrol was Rs 9.48 per litre when the Modi government took office in 2014, and that on diesel was Rs 3.56 a litre.
The government had between November 2014 and January 2016, raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices.
In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government’s excise mop up more than double to Rs 2,42,000 crore in 2016-17, from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.
The government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 in October 2017, and by Rs1.50 a year later. But it raised excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in July 2019. It again raised excise duty on March 2020, by Rs 3 per litre each. In May that year, the government hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs10 per litre and that on diesel by Rs13 a litre.
While basic excise duty on crude is not so significant, it is ad valorem (a certain percentage of value) on ATF at 11 % and on natural gas-compressed 14 %. In case of an ad valorem system, earnings happen only if the product price goes up.
According to CGA, overtax revenue of the government is down 45.5 % at Rs 688,430 crore during April-November. For the full 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021), the government had budgeted Rs 16.35 lakh crore tax revenue.
Corporation tax mop-up is down 35 % at Rs 185,699 crore and income tax collection is 12 % lower at Rs 235,038 crore, the CGA data showed. — PTI
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