Abolishing income-tax feasible, more research needed: Experts

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Abolishing income tax and other levies and replacing them with some other suitable form of revenue is feasible and desirable, say experts, although some believe that such a move would militate against social equity.

Describing the concept as "aspirational", Ficci President Sidharth Birla said: "If the steps proposed enhance revenue by broadening and broad basing the tax payer base and help improve transparency of regulatory framework, we will tend to welcome these aspects."

The radical proposal, which is being talked about by the BJP, relates to abolition of all direct and indirect taxes for individuals as well as corporates in favour of a nominal banking transaction tax.

The proposal, Birla said, would involve hard arithmetic as the revenue losses would have to be recovered from other sources while stressing that India needs a stable, equitable and a friendly tax regime.

President of industry body PHDCCI Sharad Jaipuria said: "The personal income tax should be reduced or abolished with alternate sources. I believe, government has the potential to generate revenue from other sources which are unexplored yet".

While pointing out implementation of the tax proposal is within the realm of possibility, some experts also opined that it has the potential to deal with menace of blackmoney.

"...It may reduce corruption and collusion with the Government agencies. It may remove the tax burden from individual as well as corporate taxpayers. The taxpayers will also not indulge into practices like falsification of accounts, money laundering and other illegal ways of tax evasion," said Girish Vanvari, Co-Head of Tax, KPMG in India.

He said, however, that a comprehensive and holistic analysis is required before going for such a drastic reform.

Another leading global tax consultant PwC India, however, expressed apprehensions saying that abolition of income tax would be against the progressive system of revenue collection.

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