Panel asks for extension to replace old direct tax law with new one

New Delhi: The task force set up to draft a new direct tax law to replace the existing Income Tax (IT) Act has sought 2-3 months extension from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to submit its report.

The task force was scheduled to submit the report by February 28. The Finance Ministry in November last year appointed Akhilesh Ranjan, Member (Legislation), CBDT, as convenor of the task force after the retirement of Arbind Modi. ,”The task force apprised the Finance Minister on progress made by the panel so far. It sought an extension of 2-3 months for submission of report,” an official said.

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). Even with a 3-month extension, the report of the task force would come well before the final budget for 2019-20 fiscal – which will be presented sometime in July after the general elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the annual conference of tax officers in September 2017, had observed that the Income-tax Act, 1961 was drafted more than 50 years ago and it needs to be redrafted. The task force was assigned to draft direct tax laws in line with the norms prevalent in other countries, incorporating international best practices, and keeping in mind the economic needs of the country.

The ministry had in November, 2017, set up a 6-member task force to rewrite the over 50 year old Income Tax laws. The panel was initially supposed to submit its report to the government, within 6 months, by May 22, 2018 however has missed deadlines.

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