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6 in 10 respondents believe reforms are a must in personal taxation regime: Grant Thornton Bharat pre-budget survey

Optimism levels high as 73% survey respondents say economy will grow steadily in 2023 despite global headwinds, and 72% feel that income-tax return filing process needs further simplification.

Delhi: With the Union Budget 2023-24 around the corner, corporate and individual taxpayers anticipate what the Finance Ministry has in store for the country. Grant Thornton Bharat conducted a pre-budget expectations survey to gauge market sentiments. The survey report captures the hopes and aspirations of corporate India, individual taxpayers and industry experts that focuses on tax reliefs expected by individual taxpayers, areas of corporate tax that need immediate attention, rationalisation and simplification of TDS and capital gains tax regime. More than 5,000 respondents participated in the survey across digital platforms.

Commenting on the findings, Vikas Vasal, National Managing Partner, Tax, Grant Thornton Bharat, said, "The key expectation from the Budget is to maintain the growth rate, while keeping the fiscal deficit under check. India should continue its policy reforms to attract investment, grow its manufacturing base and generate employment. The survey results lay out the expectations of the businesses for further simplification and certainty in the policy regime, and of the individuals for some relief in their net tax outgo."

According to the survey, 73% of respondents believe the economy will grow steadily in 2023 despite global headwinds, hinting at a high level of optimism. A majority (64%) also acknowledges that the personal taxation regime requires reforms the most, followed by customs and Goods and services tax (20%). When asked if the government would increase the basic exemption limit applicable to individual taxpayers, 78% of respondents believed they would. 94% of the respondents feel that the government should either increase the Section 80C deduction limit or the standard deduction in the upcoming budget, as a respite to India’s middle-class.

For corporate taxation, 39% of respondents consider the overall simplification and rationalisation of the TDS regime as the critical area that needs immediate attention. Further, 25% of respondents feel that the 15% corporate tax rate should be sector agnostic. While streamlining TDS compliance will improve the ease of doing business, a uniform corporate tax rate for all sectors will further enhance India's position as a favourable business destination.

From a tax administration perspective, despite consistent measures taken by the government to simplify the return filing process, 72% of respondents still feel that the income tax return filing process is complex and needs further simplification.

Lastly, the survey showcased some key expectations from the budget with reference to indirect tax. 79% of respondents want the government to announce another dispute resolution scheme to resolve pending indirect tax litigations. Considering the success of the earlier dispute resolution scheme, it would be helpful if the government introduces another amnesty scheme for custom and legacy laws as well as for the initial period of GST.