The new direct tax code is set to replace the existing Income Tax Act.
The aim is to reform the complex income tax laws into simpler tax codes with reduced rates, fewer exemptions, and tax slabs.
“Task Force is already working on finalising the report on a new Direct Tax Code which is required to be submitted by July 31. The government will receive the report and we shall take a call on it,” she said while replying on the debate on the Finance Bill 2019.
Earlier, the task force was supposed to submit its report by May 31, but the then finance minister Arun Jaitley gave two months extension to complete the exercise.
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.
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).
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 panel was initially supposed to submit its report to the government, within 6 months, by May 22, 2018, which was further extended till August 22.
Following Arbind Modi’s retirement on September 30, 2018, Akhilesh Ranjan-led panel was tasked to submit report by February 28, 2019. It was then extended till May 31.