Sep 13, 2021
Keep tax regime simple to check dodging, Supreme Court tells govt
The Supreme Court has provided a major tax relief to banks’ earnings from investments in bonds, securities and shares and advised the government to keep its tax regime simple to prevent avoidance of tax liabilities.
In giving the advice, a bench of Justices Sanjay K Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy quoted 18th century economist Adam Smith, who in his ‘Wealth of Nations’ had said, “The tax which each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, the quantity to be paid ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor and to every other person”.
“Just as the government does not wish for avoidance of tax equally, it is the responsibility of the regime to design a tax system for which a subject can budget and plan. If proper balance is achieved between these, unnecessary litigation can be avoided without compromising on generation of revenue,” Justice Roy said, writing the judgement for the bench.
Justice Roy said, "It needs to be observed here that in the taxation regime, there is no room for presumption and nothing can be taken to be implied. The tax an individual or a corporate is required to pay, is a matter of planning for a taxpayer and the Government should endeavour to keep it convenient and simple to achieve maximization of compliance."