Presenting the Budget 2019 in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recalled PM Narendra Modi government's efforts over the past five years to alleviate the tax burden on small and medium income earners. "We have taken several measures in the past to alleviate the tax burden on small and medium income-earners as those having annual income up to Rs 5 lakh are not required to pay any income-tax," she said. In the interim Budget, which was presented on February 1, government had announced full tax rebate for individuals with net taxable income up to Rs 5 lakh.
In today's Budget announcement, Ms Sitharaman announced no changes in the income tax structure. Leaving the income tax slabs and rates intact, Ms Sitharaman however proposed to enhance the surcharge on the super-rich.
"We are thankful to the taxpayers who play a major role in nation building by paying their taxes. However, in view of rising income levels, those in the highest income brackets, need to contribute more to the nation's development," Ms Sitharaman said.
The government enhanced the surcharge on individuals having taxable income above Rs 2 crore and up to Rs 5 crore, and taxable income above Rs 5 crore, to increase their effective tax rates by around 3 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. Also, 2 per cent TDS on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 1 crore and mandatory filing of returns by certain category of individuals was brought in with a view to tighten compliance.
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