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GST Council extends last date for migrated taxpayers to surrender registration upto March 31, 2018 + reduces penalty for late filing of GSTRs + decides to amend e-Way Bill rulesGST Council reduces tax rate from 28% to 18% on used motor vehicles + from 18% to 12% on sugar boiled confectionary, drinking water packed in 20 litre bottles, bio-diesel and bio-pesticides + from 18% to 5% on components required for satellite launch + LPG supplied for domestic consumption + from 12% to 5% on velvet fabric + from 3% to 0.25% on diamonds & precious stonesGST Council decides to exempt RTI-related services + reduces rate on construction of metro projects to 12% + 5% without ITC on housekeeping service through ECO + 5% rate on tailoring service + 18% rate now on entry ticket to water parks or theme parksGST on Services - ITC allowed to tour operators in same line of business + hikes exemption limit to Rs 7500 per month for Resident Welfare Members + exempts legal services provided to Governments & Govt entities + Rate reduced on transportation of petroleum products to 5% + Rate on job work services to leather and footwear reduced to 5% + exempts transport service provided to educational institutionsGST Council shifts focus on anti-evasion measures; Tax rates reduced on 29 goods & 53 ServicesGST Council decides to divide Rs 35000 Crore IGST collections between Centre & States, provisionally17 lakh Composition taxpayers paid only about Rs 307 Crore; Council expresses disappointmentLegislative changes - Council receives demand to introduce Sec 9(4) only for Composition taxpayersGST Council accepts Fitment Committee recommendations to reduce rates on 29 goods + 53 services; New rates to come into force from Jan 25GST Council accepts Sarna Committee report on handicraft items; Fitment Committee to decide tariff for 40 such itemsGST Council finally decides to stop at uploading of Sale Invoices in GSTR-3B till alternative is worked out and approved at next meeting through video conferencing + e-Way Bill - 15 States to roll out intra-State system on Feb 1, 2018SC terms States’ ban on Padmavat illegal after certification by Central BoardFinancial Year should roll out on Jan 1 rather than on April 1: Sushil ModiHyderabad DRI seizes Saudi & Omni Riyals worth Rs 1 Crore from pax heading for DubaiBihar CM wants Jaitley to hike Sec 80C limit to Sec 2 lakh + general exemption limit to Rs 3 lakhCentre to release Rs 1000 Cr more to AP Govt for its Amaravati projectTripura to go to polls on Feb 18; Nagaland + Meghalaya on Fe 27: Election CommissionGST Council is quite sensitive to exporters' problems, says Vice PresidentJaitley holds Pre-Budget talks with State FMs before Council MeetCBEC carries out more amendments in AEO ProgrammeSC declines to entertain petition seeking stay on media coverage of Apex Court Judges's rowADD on Metronidazole imported from PR China - Notfn 40/2012 rescinded - refund to be granted to importers who paid ADD on or after 29.08.2017 but did not pass on burden - Delhi HC in Aarti Drugs 2017-TIOL-1775-HC-DEL-Cus refersRebooting of GST - A TIOL word of caution for the CouncilST - Petitioner cannot challenge one part of order-in-original before High Court and another portion before CESTAT: HCI-T - Fees charged by trade regulatory body for registration of domain names are not taxable as 'commercial receipts': HCCX - CENVAT credit is admissible to extent insurance cover relates to employees for whom it is mandatory to provide such cover: CESTATI-T - Fees paid by cellular companies for acquring 3G band license, if capitalized as 'intangible asset', will be eligible for depreciation: ITATGST for 'Outdoor catering' should be reduced; No GST to be levied on Sale of Motorcars to employees after useGovt streamlines hotel classification guidelinesGovt hikes retirement age of Ayush doctors & civilian docs of Armed Forces to 65Direct tax collections peak at Rs 6.9 lakh cr after refund of Rs 1.2 lakh cr
 
Making People Pay - The Economic Sociology of Taxation

Authored by Sibichen K Mathew
Published by Global Vision Publication House
No of Pages: 299
Price: Rs 599

Legal Corner Icon

By N Nityananda, CA

Legal Corner IconMANY novels and fictions are so gripping that readers once they start seldom stop till the last page. That cannot be said about books on Economics and more so on taxation!! Here is a well researched and multidimensional book on taxation, which makes an interesting reading of a dry (?) subject like taxation.

The book starts of with the question in every taxpayer's mind – Why should I pay taxes? The author has illustrated various justifications of the taxpayers for the tax evasion and dodging. The reasoning ranges from a fundamental issue of absence of reciprocal benefit from the state to the intolerable fact of tax evasion perceived in their surroundings. It is in this constant dilemma of a citizen, the book ‘Making People Pay' – the Economic Sociology of Taxation is to say the least – is the light at the end of the tunnel. The credibility of this book is higher as the author is a scholar on the subject and he has alongside direct experience in the tax machinery of our vast country.

The system of taxation has traveled a long way from the historic approach of a smooth process akin to a bee collecting honey from a flower to a world of legal complexity, administrative heterogeneity and political inconsistency. But has it taken the entire tax paying population alongside is a difficult question to answer. The book rightly analyses that the economic models are unable to capture the behaviors of taxpayers.

The chapter on Indian and global tax history makes an interesting reading. The evolution of taxation through a series of wars far and wide, colonialism and tax revolts are well captured. Today we read in newspapers about the crores of rupees of taxes paid by Bollywood and cricket stars. The book compares this trend with the tax regime during ancient India, particularly of 324 BC (Mauryan Kingdom), when dancers and actors paid good amount of taxes compared to the businessmen. The pilgrim taxes and taxation used as a tool of discrimination amongst religions by rulers of both ancient and medieval India.

Then comes the relationship and conflicts of ideology between Politics and Economics. Author has analyzed the dilemmas in public policy, as there is an inevitable conflict of ideology between the political commitments and long-term desirability of such commitments for the country. He has also critically analyzed the link between black money, voluntary political funding and public policy compulsions.

The heart of this book is the analytical discussions on the subjects of tax evasion and tax enforcement. The author displays his vast knowledge and experience while dissecting the causes and consequences of tax enforcement, particularly income tax raids. This may be the first such study in the world that has analyzed the sociological and economic aspects of the invasion to private lives by an enforcement agency. From the how and why of tax evasion to the interviews of those who were raided by the investigation wing of the department adds value to the reader. The study has results which are astonishing, to say the least 73% of the respondents say that the IT raid helped in organizing their business better and 84% say that they are more systematic in recording and maintaining the accounts and 53% say that they have achieved better financial results after the raid only. Only 15 to 32% complain of losing their business to losing their customers on account of raids. The research by the author also points out the 76% of the respondents agree that in recent years there is better tax compliance. But it is surprising to find that many taxpayers openly admitted that they evade their taxes even after an income tax search.

The book clearly showcases the modus operandi followed by tax evaders and the reasons for tax evasion as perceived by them. These facts are not collected from any official records, but from the data gathered from the taxpayers themselves. The author has also delineated the expectations of the taxpayers from the government, tax system and tax officials. His analysis of the fiscal challenges for the developing economies in the context of globalization and tax competition is scholarly and academically stimulating.

The book has its own share of humour with cartoons by gifted cartoonist Mr.Sajjive Balakrishnan. One cartoon depicts how ‘Speech is Silver' to a taxman and ‘Silence is Golden' to a taxpayer!!! The forewords written by the SSN Murthy, Chairman CBDT and M N Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India are very inspiring and informative.

When I started reading the book, I was engrossed and when I completed the reading, I felt more enriched and rewarded. It is a must read to all citizens – young and old. The details can be found at http://makingpeoplepay.blogspot.com.


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