Budget 2021: No news is good news on taxation, says Cleartax’s Archit Gupta

The government’s decision to not impose a new tax in the budget for 2021-22 is a positive development but it must look for ways to widen the tax base, Cleartax founder Archit Gupta said.

“No news is good news on taxation,” Gupta told YourStory after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget for 2021-22 in Parliament. 

“The budget stayed the course [on taxes] and didn’t have any surprises,” he said.

Gupta, who is also the CEO of the income tax filing website, said the government depends on salaried taxpayers “very heavily” and must find ways to expand the tax net.

He pointed out that only 2-3% people in India pay income tax, and so bear the most burden of taxation. The government could look at the possibility of taxing farmers who earn, say, Rs 50 lakh a year, he said. An inheritance tax on wealthy individuals should also be considered, he added.

Gupta also highlighted two areas where he would have liked the government to move forward. One area, he said, related to bankruptcy and winding up of companies. The other area that needs reform is the tax on employee stock options (ESOPs), a long-pending demand of startups.

Overall, Gupta thought that this was a great opportunity for the government to do “radical stuff” but it wasted an opportunity by not announcing any big-bang reforms.

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For YourStory's multimedia coverage of Budget 2021, visit YourStory's Budget 2021 page or budget.yourstory.com.


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