Overview of Tax Proposals*
Dr. K. Shivaram, Advocate
The author has made a critical analysis of the provisions of the Finance Bill 2008 and argues that some of its provisions may be unconstitutional.
1. Introduction This year’s budget is also full of promises and very little on accountability. Unless the concept of accountability is introduced in the Income-tax Act as per the recommendation of Raja Chellia Committee (1992) 197 ITR st. 177 (257), whatever may be the law, the honest tax payers will have to face the difficulties of high-pitched assessment, recovery etc. The Hon’ble Finance Minister has stated that “Debt relief won’t be there every year, it is just a one –time distress measure”. I am of the view, we may not be surprised, similar to amnesty schemes for dishonest taxpayers once in five years, every Finance Minister before election once in five years definitely will try to give some amnesty scheme to farmers so that they will be get the desired support from the masses. Shri N.A. Palkhivala in his article on the occasion of Golden Jubilee celebration of ITAT stated that “Today the Income-tax Act, 1961, is a national disgrace. There is no other instance in Indian jurisprudence of an Act mutilated by more than 3,300 amendments in less than 30 years. Simple provisions like Sections 11 to 13 (which deals with exemptions of the income of charitable trusts) have suffered no less than fifty amendments”
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Evolution of ITAT — Historical Perspective and Vision*
Hon’ble Shri R. P. Garg, Vice President, ITAT, Ahmedabad
The Hon’ble Vice President gives a fascinating perspective of the history of the Tribunal and also traces out his vision for the growth of this venerable institution.
Independence in redress of grievance to the assesse was the cry of mid forties and that has been the root cause for the emergence of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. From the insurgence of the Tax Legislature in 1868 until 1921 there was only one appeal and that was to the appellate authority designated and named from time to time as District Collector, or the Collector of Division, or the Chief Revenue Authority of the Division or the Commissioner of Income Tax. Second Appeal was not known in tax matters at that time. In 1922 Act, the concept of Second Appeal came into being – First Appeal was provided to the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax and the Second Appeal against his order to the Commissioner of Income Tax. Both these authorities under the hierarchical system being under the control of Board of Inland Revenue, imbibed no independence in deciding appeals, and thus, there was a total absence of an independent forum to redress the grievance of the assessees.
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