The finance ministry on Monday said that its task force will be submitting their draft report on a new direct tax act by 28 February 2019.
In November 2017, a 6-member task force was established to rewrite the more than 50 years old Income Tax Act in order to simplify it. After the retirement of Arbind Modi, the convenor of the panel, the task force's report was left in a limbo. The finance ministry has appointed Central Board Of Direct Taxes (CBDT) member Akhilesh Ranjan as the head of the task force.
In a statement, the ministry said, "In partial modification of the earlier order, the Government has appointed Akhilesh Ranjan, Member (Legislation), CBDT as Convenor of the Task Force. Other members of the Task Force remain unchanged. The Task Force shall submit its report to the Government by February 28, 2019."
The other members of the task force include Girish Ahuja (chartered accountant), Rajiv Memani (Chairman and Regional Managing Partner of EY), Mukesh Patel (Practicing Tax Advocate), Mansi Kedia (Consultant, ICRIER) and G C Srivastava (retired IRS and Advocate).
An interim budget for the next fiscal year will be presented by the NDA government on 1 February to the parliament to seek a vote on the expenditure for the first initial months. The full budget will be presented after the general elections.
During the annual conference of tax officers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi observed that the Income Tax Act of 1961, in force at present, is over 50 years old, and needs redrafting.
The task force is assigned to draft tax laws in line with the laws followed in other countries, incorporating the best of international practices while keeping the economic needs of the country's residents in mind. The panel was initially supposed to submit its report within 6 months, that is, 22 May 2018. The deadline was then extended to 22 August 2018, which they failed to meet as well.